Page 1

2017'S BEST NEW GEAR WARNING:

We Test on Humans. Real Skiers. Real Results.

BUYERS GUIDE Which Ski Ranked No. 1? Skis & Boots

246

Tested, Rated & Reviewed

TREND REPORT

UPDATE YOUR KIT

Skis Get Thinner Plus: Self-Heating Boots (For Real!)

This Season's Best Jackets, Pants, Gloves, Helmets & Goggles


IN A

LAND FAR FAR AWAY

There’s something magical about this place that never lets you forget you’re on vacation… far from the office, far from the computer and the traffic, and far away from any other winter vacation you’ve ever had.

S T E A M B O AT. C O M / P H : 8 7 7. 4 6 2 . 4 6 8 1


Contents

Features

48 Buyers Guide 2017

All the swag you need to get your season off to a winning start: It’s in here.

50 Trend Report Lighter, cheaper, warmer. You’ll like this season’s gear updates. By Joe Cutts 55 Skis We put them through their paces. These skis came out on top. By Joe Cutts 90 Boots This is your year for new boots. We made you a handy list. By Mark Elling and Steve Cohen

110 Apparel & Accessories Look as good as you ski. By Samantha Berman and Greg Ditrinco

SkiMag.com This Month Gear Geeked Looking for a new set of boards? Hook up at SkiMag.com/skis.

Videos Our gear eds give you the lowdown on this season’s best sticks at SkiMag .com/gearvids.

8

SKI MAGAZINE

Tester Todd Casey drops into the trees in Deer Valley’s Empire Canyon.

{ September 2016 }

PHOTOGRAPH BY KERI BASCETTA


NEW FOR THE 2016-17 SEASON

PROUD PARTNER OF


Contents Fresh

Go

Departments

Plus

128

20 Focus

34 Travel

12 Connect

If there’s no snow around, what to do? Easy. Ski on the sand.

Time to revisit Purgatory, where new owners and long-awaited upgrades complement the San Juan skyscape.

What’s keeping the lights on in your local ski shop? We asked.

24 Face Shot Ever run a marathon? Yeah, it’s a grind. Now try running one in ski boots. Alastair Machell did.

Take it from a Millennial: Log off and bliss out.

38 Tip Sheet Test your tweens and teens on Keystone’s North Peak terrain.

44

26 Trends

40 Scene

There’s a quiet revolution brewing in on-snow medical care.

Hotels with a sense of place, plus lunch on the run and Whistler’s hot new art museum.

32 Drive New hybrid vehicles (surprisingly) deliver power, improved cargo space, and also (not surprisingly) serious fuel-efficiency.

128 On Skiing

44 Family A helmet is your child’s most important piece of equipment. Is it time for an upgrade?

“You could say that it’s better to get hurt at a ski area than at your house.”

34

20

PAGE 26 40

PHOTOGRAPH BY

“Put $6 million into a lift, people love it. Change the name back to Purgatory, people love it twice as much.”

KERI BASCETTA

PAGE 34

2017'S BEST NEW GEAR WARNING:

We Test on Humans. Real Skiers. Real Results.

BUYERS GUIDE Which Ski Ranked No. 1? Skis & Boots

246

TREND REPORT

UPDATE YOUR KIT

Skis Get Thinner Plus: Self-Heating Boots (For Real!)

This Season's Best Jackets, Pants, Gloves, Helmets & Goggles

2017 BUYERS GUIDE

Tested, Rated & Reviewed

ON THE COVER Rossignol Super 7 HD, Salomon QST 99, Tecnica Cochise Pro 130, Marker 16:10+.

10

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


Connect

Shop Talk geek. And a ski-industry lifer. Among other jobs, he was with Nordica for more than 20 years, and for the past dozen or so years has been the head of hardgoods at the sprawling Danzeisen & Quigley sports shop in Cherry Hill, N.J., near Philadelphia. “The only thing I haven’t done is taught or patrolled.” For you kids who don’t have the 40-plus years in the industry that Gleeson has, listen to this insanity: There used to be a time—not that long ago—when you could walk into a ski shop and walk out with a pair of lousy skis. Complete dogs. Can you image? I know. It’s nuts. Consequently, manning the front lines at a ski shop is a job that has become much easier and more difficult. “There really are no bad skis on the market,” Gleeson says. It just comes down to “price points, what type of performance you want, and your skiing style.” Talk to both citizen skiers and industry veterans, and there’s striking agreement that the quality of skis has never been

12

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

better. So sticks are flying off the racks, right? Not so much. The increasing expense of checking luggage, coupled with the general hassle of TSA-managed air travel, has fundamentally changed what happens in his shop’s aisles, Gleeson says. “People will travel with their boots. Skis and poles? Forget about it.” As a result, “we’ll get the boot sales, and maybe some accessories.” Intriguingly, my call into a major metroarea ski store to talk shop wound up generating more chatter about boots than about the gear undeniably at the top of skiing’s food chain: namely skis. “Boots are really the nucleus of what a ski shop does now,” Gleeson says. “If you’re not a great bootfitting ski shop, you’re not going to have a ski shop. End of story.” Gleeson had sold a pair of boots earlier that day to an experienced skier. “The guy saw them online and came in with the size and the model. We did the fitting,” he says. This selling sequence is increasingly a standard transaction for Gleeson’s shop.

“Customers understand the importance of the hands-on, face-to-face experience” of buying boots. As a guy running a nonmountain-town ski shop, Gleeson has one bedrock benediction: “Thank God for boots.” Gleeson praises the “surprisingly good overall knowledge” of gear he sees in most of the customers who walk through his door. But if you’re not one of those selfeducated, gear-obsessed consumers—or even if you are—you can rely on our 2017 Buyers Guide, starting on page 40. We put a lot of time, effort, and resources into testing gear so you don’t have to. Your next step? It certainly could be to head to a ski shop to check out the goods. And how can you tell if you’re in a good shop? That’s easy, according to Gleeson. “If the salesperson isn’t asking you a lot of questions, turn around and walk out,” he says. “You got to have a two-way conversation to get on the right gear.” O Greg Ditrinco, Editor gditrinco@skimag.com

DAN CAMPBELL

TIM GLEESON IS A SELF-PROCLAIMED GEAR

The secret to the future success of your favorite ski shop? You just might be standing in it.


EST. 1936

EDITORIAL SALES EDITOR BOULDER 303-253-6300 VICE PRESIDENT & GROUP PUBLISHER

Greg Ditrinco DEPUTY EDITOR

Joe Cutts SENIOR EDITOR

Samantha Berman COPY EDITOR

Gillian Burnes CONTRIBUTING GEAR EDITORS

Al Crolius ADVERTISING MANAGER

Lori Ostrow ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Stefanie Luciano NATIONAL SALES MANAGER

Ginna Larson

Mark Elling, Steve Cohen

NEW YORK 917-577-0191 INSTRUCTION DIRECTOR EAST COAST SALES DIRECTOR

Michael Rogan JoAnn Martin EDITORIAL INTERNS

Tyler Kraft, Jillian Queri ART ART DIRECTOR

DETROIT 248-763-0526 SALES MANAGER

Keith Cunningham CALFORNIA 805-816-4354 NON-ENDEMIC WEST COAST SALES

Jackie McCaffrey Bradley Tanya Foster DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Keri Bascetta ASSOCIATE PHOTO EDITOR

NATIONAL 949-701-2040 SKI MARKET INSIDE SALES

Bailey LaRue Scott Monte ART INTERNS TORONTO 416-363-1388 CANADA SALES OFFICE, PUBLICITAS APR

Jake Fojtik, Carina Singletary, Hanna Whirty

DIGITAL DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA

Josh Rashkin CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT MANAGER

Ryan Dionne SENIOR WEB PRODUCER

Stephen Sebestyen ASSOCIATE DIGITAL EDITOR

Leslie Hittmeier PRODUCTION GROUP PRODUCTION DIRECTOR

Barb Van Sickle COLOR SPECIALIST

Mark Dobroth AD PRODUCTION COORDINATOR

Caitlin O’Connor SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Francoise Chalifour, Cyndy Fleming, Rosalind Genge MARKETING SALES DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Eric Henderson GROUP MARKETING DIRECTOR

Liz VerHoeven ASSOCIATE MARKETING DIRECTOR

Amy Lewis EVENTS MARKETING MANAGER

Caitlyn Pepper DIGITAL MARKETING SPECIALIST

Leslie Barrett FACILITIES MANAGER OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS

Tony Pene FACILITIES MANAGER

Tony Wilhelms

Michelle Miller

CORRESPONDENCE CIRCULATION Letters to the editor may be mailed to SKI, Liftlines, DIRECTOR OF RETAIL SALES

5720 Flatiron Parkway, Boulder, CO 80301 or e-mailed to

Susan A. Rose editor@skimag.com. Include your full name, address, and CIRCULATION DIRECTOR

Dana Raven

daytime phone number.

SUBSCRIPTIONS For customer service and subscription matters, such as renewals, address changes, e-mail preferences, billing, and account status, go to: skimag.com/cs. You can also call 386-597-4326 or write to SKI Magazine, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235.

BACK ISSUES/REPRINTS To request back issues, call Palm Coast Data at 386-597-4326 or e-mail ski@emailcustomerservice.com. EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN

Efrem Zimbalist III For article reprints: PRESIDENT & CEO

Logo Licensing, Reprints and Permissions

Andrew W. Clurman Contact Brett Petillo, Wrights Media EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT & CFO

877-652-5295 or aim@wrightsmedia.com

Brian Sellstrom SKI does not accept unsolicited manuscripts and assumes EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS

no responsibility for their return.

Patricia B. Fox SVP, DIGITAL & DATA

Jonathan Dorn VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE

Craig Rucker VICE PRESIDENT, CONTROLLER

Joseph Cohen VICE PRESIDENT, RESEARCH

Kristy Kaus VP, GM OUTDOOR GROUP

Kent Ebersole

14

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

PRINTED IN USA


D

R

RO

M

WO

F

S

LIVE B O T Y


MAKE AN EXCUSE YOUR BOSS WILL BELIEVE AND GET YER DAYS IN.

Introducing the award-winning 16/17 Invictus 99Ti

Par t of the Invictus Series by


P: Blake Jorgenson S: Claire Challen

The big picture. Book it to get it.

BOOK BY NOV. 15 FOR THE BEST RATES AND BEST ROOMS  GUARANTEED. Perspective. It comes from getting up here, where towering peaks and real air and deep snow have a way of stripping off the stuff that gets in the way of what’s important. It’s a vantage point from which our consistent #1 resort rankings, our vast and varied terrain, our legendary après and activities, and our vibrant pedestrian village take a back seat to how it actually feels to be here. But the big picture isn’t just about those things, it’s about the perspective you gain from having it all.

EARLY SEASON 5 NIGHT 4 DAY SKI & STAY PACAKGE starting from

84*

$

USD per person per night

SAVE upto 42% OFF

Kids ski, stay and rent FREE** Visit whistlerblackcomb.com for details.

*

BEST RATES & BEST ROOMS – BOOK BY NOVEMBER 15

Fly to Vancouver - Air Deals †† From

Base + Taxes & Fees

Total Return

N TORONTO (YYZ)

$458 + $121 taxes

$579 CAD

N NEW YORK (EWR)

$524 + $161 taxes

$685 USD

N CHICAGO (ORD)

$431 + $111 taxes

$542 USD

N SAN FRANCISCO (SFO) $267 + $97 taxes

$364 USD

$172 + $101 taxes

$273 USD

N LOS ANGELES (LAX)

*Starting from rates are quoted in USD funds based on a 1.30 exchange rate. Package rate is an average rate per person per night, based on 2 people in the room type specified (based on 4 people at Tantalus Lodge), valid Nov 24 - Dec 9, 2016. Taxes and fees are extra. Weekend rates and other restrictions may apply. Offer is subject to availability and may change without notice. Early booking offer available until Nov 15, 2016. Other packages available, please inquire for details. **Kids free: 1 free child (12 and under), per paying adult. Free child lift ticket and rental must be equivalent to the paying adult. Blackout dates apply. †Rate is quoted in USD funds based on a 1.30 exchange rate. Rates are subject to availability at the time of booking and does not include any applicable taxes, fees, or gratuity and may change without notice. Rate is valid Nov 24, 2016 - Apr 23, 2017 and is subject to change. Early Booking offer available until Nov 15, 2016.††Fares shown are based on round-trip travel and includes taxes and fees. Fares are in USD (unless otherwise indicated) and may fluctuate due to exchange rates. Fares are subject to change at any time. Minimum, maximum stay & 1 day advance purchase requirements in effect. Seats at these fares are limited and may not be available on all flights. Blackout dates for YYZ flight: Dec 16, 2016 - Jan 10, 2017, Feb 27, 2017 – Mar 15, 2017 and Apr 4-18, 2017. Blackout dates for EWR, ORD, SFO & LAX: Nov 23, Nov 26-28, Dec 17, 2016 - Jan 2, 2017. Fees will be collected for changes. Tickets are non-refundable. Travel completion dates vary, please inquire for details. These fares are only available when packaged with a minimum of 3 nights lodging. Ticket must be purchased by Nov 15, 2016.


TANTALUS RESORT LODGE Offering one and two bedroom suites within the village, featuring a full kitchen, living/dining area and fireplace. Complimentary ski shuttle. Enjoy outdoor hot tubs, heated pool and spectacular mountain views.

CRYSTAL LODGE & SUITES Perfectly located in the heart of Whistler village, steps from the Gondolas. Experience friendly customer service, ski valet, hot tub & room types to suit every traveler.

EXECUTIVE HOTELS AND RESORTS

84*

$

European charm in the heart of Whistler Village. Stay at our unbeatable locations just steps from both Whistler & Blackcomb gondolas, restaurants & shopping.

book by Nov. 15

129*

$

book after Nov. 15 two bedroom

RESORTQUEST WHISTLER

88*

$

All the comforts of home, all the pleasures of being away! This winter, choose from the largest selection of fully appointed suites in Whistler’s most desired locations.

book by Nov. 15

151*

$

book after Nov. 15 hotel room

LE CHAMOIS

PINNACLE HOTEL WHISTLER Fabulous location right in Whistler village, this all suite hotel is perfect for your entire family. Full kitchens, flat-screen TVs, luxury jetted Jacuzzi tubs and heated outdoor pool.

PAN PACIFIC WHISTLER MOUNTAINSIDE Spacious full-service suites located at the Gondolas to both mountains. Complimentary Internet and valet ski storage. Relax après in the mountain view pool and hot tubs.

87*

book by Nov. 15

129*

$

book after Nov. 15 hotel room

$

88*

book by Nov. 15

151*

$

book after Nov. 15 hotel room

AAVA WHISTLER HOTEL

by Whistler Premier

Stay at the Premier Whistler location near the base of Blackcomb Mountain. Enjoy the ease of access to all the shops and restaurants in the Upper Village, only steps away from the chairlifts at this ultimate ski-in/ski-out location.

$

89*

$

Steps from Whistler’s pedestrian Village and minutes from the ski lifts, the Aava is perfectly positioned on the edge of the action. It’s the extras that set this contemporary hotel apart from the rest.

book by Nov. 15

153*

$

book after Nov. 15 studio

$

94*

book by Nov. 15

151*

$

book after Nov. 15 hotel room

NITA LAKE LODGE A fresh take on classic Whistler luxury at one of the Top 25 Hotels in Canada in 2014 as voted by TripAdvisor travelers. Focusing on personalized service and unique experiences, the Nita Lake Lodge proudly redefines upscale mountain comfort.

96*

$

book by Nov. 15

140*

$

book after Nov. 15 studio

$

99*

book by Nov. 15

153*

$

book after Nov. 15 studio

SCANDINAVE SPA WHISTLER

108*

$

Enjoy our wood burning sauna, eucalyptus steam bath, Nordic & thermal waterfalls, hot baths & cold plunges, solariums and outdoor fireplace—all just minutes from Whistler Village. It’s true relaxation in the heart of nature.

book by Nov. 15

160*

$

book after Nov. 15 studio

1.888.858.4335 whistlerblackcomb.com/bookearly

/

/

42

$

book by Nov. 15

46

$

book after Nov. 15


Fresh NEWS. VIEWS. TRENDS.

IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ’EM… » “There was zero snow when it was time to go, and we had tickets,” explains photographer Dan Patitucci about his long-planned excursion to Toubkal peak—at 13,671 feet, the highest summit in North Africa. But he and athlete Simon Duverney (shown) chose to wing it, which is how they found themselves deep in the Sahara Desert with some alpine gear. Skis were the best way to stay above the surface during their impromptu trek, so naturally some turns were made on the steeper faces. Here’s a tip you won’t read on Trip Advisor, in case you find yourself in a similar predicament. “The sand skis better in the morning when it’s cool and slightly moist—dawn patrol!” Patitucci says.

20

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


DATA » PHOTOGRAPHER Dan Patitucci STOCK CREDIT

» LOCATION Sahara Desert, near Merzouga, Morocco

» SKIER Simon Duverney

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

21


Fresh

focus

22

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

DATA » PHOTOGRAPHER Adam Barker

» LOCATION Alta, Utah

» SKIER Tyler Petersen

STOCK CREDIT

DANCING WITH THE STARS » “It was just another stellar March day at Alta,” says shooter Adam Barker. “This was actually the after-party.” Barker and athlete Tyler Petersen had worked inbounds all morning and then decided to hit the nearby sidecountry. Shooting powder images is a precision dance between athlete and photographer, Barker explains. “I try to verbalize exactly what I’m seeing so the athlete knows what they need to do to nail their part,” he says. “The difference between a keeper and a throwaway is literally a matter of inches—from both sides of the lens.” Naturally, the more you dance together, the better you get. “Tyler is a seasoned vet,” Barker says. “Not surprisingly, he greased it.”


The 2017 Blizzard Quattro is a high-performance ski collection – ten models for men, six for women – specifically designed to carve the perfect turn on groomed snow. The versatility and range lets you pinpoint the precise size and model for the way you ski: your ability level, your terrain, your type of snow. Blizzard Quattro gives you the freedom to make a mark that is yours and yours alone.

TO LEARN MORE VISIT: WWW.BLIZZARDSPORTUSA.COM/QUATTRO-SITE-USA/ OR YOUR LOCAL BLIZZARD RETAILER.


Fresh Snap Judgment WITH US

« Peak Utah The Beehive State racked up 4.45 million skier visits last season. The most ever. We’re good with sharing.

As a cancer survivor (and a former member of the British speed-skiing team) Alastair Machell figured, How hard could it be to take on the London Marathon in his favorite winter footwear?

face shot

Booted Up « Shop Talk Kids might have to hang out at the mall to learn life’s lessons, as local ski shops face increasing challenges to stay afloat after a series of dry winters coupled with growing online sales. Still, there’s no website that can punch out your boot.

Running a marathon is no small accomplishment. Now try running one in ski boots. Alastair Machell did. BY GREG DITRINCO

AGAINST US

24

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

FOR SKIERS, AUTUMN IS GEAR SEASON. FOR FIT—

and particularly masochistic—skiers, autumn is also marathon season. In an unlikely scenario, Alastair Machell managed to combine the two. The 36-year-old Watford, England, resident completed the London Marathon last year in his trusty Salomon ski boots. It was Alastair’s first marathon, and (not surprisingly) he also appears to be the first person to run the London Marathon wearing ski boots. It took Machell eight hours and one minute to complete the 26.2 miles, at which time the course was empty, with cleaning crews right behind him. “I started up front in the pack, but I lost all the runners about mile eight,” Machell says. With the crowds long gone, he found inspiration elsewhere. “There were a lot of people who had been in the pubs all day. They came out and cheered. And there was a group of Japanese tourists snapping photos of this random bloke running through London in ski boots. That helped me carry on.” Machell, an IT sales representative, decided to run the race in ski boots to help others carry on. He was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in 2001, when he was 21 years old. He had the tumor successfully removed but the subsequent chemotherapy led to kidney failure and eventually a kidney transplant. He decided to raise

FROM TOP: COURTESY OF AL MACHELL/MARATHON FOTO; ROSS DOWNARD (2)

« Pent-Up Demand Classic economic theory: Tickets for the November Women’s World Cup Race in Killington sold out in a few hours. It’s the first Alpine WC race in the East in 25 years.


HEAT ON C MMAND

With Up To 6 Hours Of Heat At The Touch Of A Button STAY WARMEST LONGER ™

Look For It In Stores

Get Warm At SEIRUS.COM


Fresh

On call: Patroller Hunter Mortensen checks out his beat on top of Colorado’s Breckenridge Mountain.

26

SKI MAGAZINE

trends

Ambulances on Their Backs A fast toboggan ride down is no longer patrol’s first response. BY HEATHER HANSMAN BRECKENRIDGE SKI PATROLLER HUNTER

Mortensen says it never fails. The instant patrol responds to someone seriously sick or injured on the hill, a doctor skis by. “They want to help but they’re used to perfect light and perfect conditions,” Mortensen says. “Then they see me on my hands and knees managing an airway and they ski away.” And, luckily for the on-slope patient, Mortensen has what he likes to call “an ambulance in my backpack.” He’s used to starting IVs, stabilizing vitals, and initiating other invasive medical procedures that were formerly restricted to emergency rooms—on the side of a ski run. Mortensen is part of a bigger movement, mostly invisible to happily oblivious skiers, to raise the level of on-hill medical care. The overarching ski-patrol medical directive used to be to stabilize on-hill patients, pack them into a sled, and get them—fast—to a traditional care facility. But as the sophistication of transportable medical technology improves, and, as Mortensen says, a certain old boys’ club fades out, patrollers are able to offer more-

{ September 2016 }

advanced care and change the fate of people who get sick or hurt on the hill. “That’s been the big shift in patrolling in the past 10 or 15 years,” he says. “We’re all at least EMTs and we had a level of training that we weren’t using. There’s no reason we can’t give prehospital-level care, and we know that we can impact their recovery.” On the hill, that care can manifest in a lot of different ways. Mortensen says Breck patrollers can do a needle decompression of the chest wall for a collapsed lung and use an automated external defibrillator during cardiac arrest. They administer drugs to keep patients comfortable, but they’re also hyperaware of how quickly they should transport people and where to send them. When injuries get life-and-death serious, patrol is an increasingly crucial link in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) chain. “You could say that it’s better to get hurt in a ski area than at your house. We very well could get to you faster than an ambulance,” Mortensen says while showing a guest the patrol’s medical facilities at Breckenridge’s midmountain Vista Haus lodge.

KERI BASCETTA

funds for the Brain Tumour Charity and for Royal Free, the hospital where he was treated. The question was how to do it. A passionate skier and a member of the British speedskiing team until he was injured in a crash, Machell came up with the idea to boot up for the marathon during a ski trip to Selva, Italy, which is connected to other resorts. “I’ve never walked so much in ski boots in my life,” he says. “On the way back from a pub, I thought, ‘This isn’t so bad. I could run a marathon like this.’” He proceeded to buy a treadmill on eBay and began training in boots, working up to 10k, and starting to believe, “Maybe I can do this.” He did it, but at a price. Machell hit the infamous 20-mile-mark wall a wee bit early, around mile eight. “I’ve never been in so much pain,” he says. A woman on the sideline— he guesses she was a nurse— persuaded him to stop and “she pulled all these bandages out of her rucksack and fixed me up.” Later in the race, around mile 18, he was weakening again. “Then my best mate rang me and told me that ‘Pain is temporary. Glory is eternal.’” Now any thought of not completing the course had to be dismissed. When he saw his girlfriend at mile 22, “I knew I was going to make it.” You know how sore your feet are after the last run of a long ski day? Don’t make Machell laugh. “I was worried at the end of the race to take my boots off, wondering what I would find,” he says. “There were blisters on blisters.” Being a thrifty Brit, Machell admits that running 26.2 miles in his ski boots “did ground them down a bit,” he says. “But I think they’re still good.” O


RULE THE MOUNTAIN WITH MORE FREERIDING POWER

POWER & PROTECTION Marker’s signature Inter-Pivot heel aims the power directly at the boot lug for the ultimate power transmission and optimum retention

LOW SWING WEIGHT The short overall length of the Inter-Pivot heel and Triple Pivot Elite toe with horizontal spring orientation yields lower swing weight and easier ski flex

POWER WIDTH DESIGN The best way to control today’s wider skis – Marker’s exclusive Power Width Design connects the boot to the ski with a broad footprint extending from the base plate through the toe piece to the top of the binding

SOLE.ID Marker extends the any boot, any time philosophy with SOLE.ID, giving both the Griffon and Jester compatibility with ISO 5355 (Alpine) and ISO 9523 (Alpine Touring) boot sole norms. So no matter what boot you have now or in the future, you’ll have seamless compatibility, precise power transmission, and the ultimate performance.

The new Marker Griffon 13 ID extends its performance range with SOLE.ID, allowing both Alpine and Alpine Touring boot compatibility to create the most versatile freeride binding on the market today. Along with the Griffon, all of Marker’s Royal Family bindings feature Power Width Design, our signature toe and heel designs engineered to make today’s wider skis perform at their very best - so you can Rule the Mountain. For more information visit markerusa.com

#rulethemountain


Fresh Breckenridge, with its Vail Resorts– funded medical budget, has a lot of advantages, including a level-four trauma facility at the base. But smaller hills are trying to advance their level of care too. Jeff Kaplan, a surgeon and volunteer ski patroller at Bear Valley, Calif., says his team is trying to extend its range of care, but it’s working with a different set of constraints. “Bear is the greatest secret in the West,” he says. “It’s the greatest skiing, but there are no amenities—we’re running on a shoestring. Last year we won the NPS award for the best small patrol, but our budget is tiny and the closest hospital is an hour away by ground.” Kaplan has patrolled at Bear Valley for four years, and he says that when he first showed up the first-aid supplies consisted of gauze, some slings, cardboard boxes, and wire splints. “There was aspirin and Motrin, but the patients had to administer it themselves,” he says. Along with the mountain’s medical director, Joe Morgensen, another volunteer patroller who is also a retired internal-medicine doctor, he’s worked to augment the supplies the patrollers can provide, and to At the ready: Hunter Mortensen and avy dog Tali in patrol HQ on Breckenridge Mountain.

2 1

3

4

5

6

7

Stocked up: A wider range of treatment is available on-hill, gear. A selection from a Breckenridge patrol pack, including supplies for: (1) intubation; (2) EpiPens, oxygen and glucose levels; (3) cardiac and intravenous care; (4) tourniquet; (5) vital signs; (6) provider protection; and (7) resuscitation.

help them smarten up in how they use them. For instance, because their budget is small, they’ve asked patients to donate money after they’ve had medical care. “People don’t think twice about paying for it if you suture them up, then ask them to make a donation,” Morgensen

directors to set the directives. “We have to work under a doctor, and ours is really great—he skis all the time. We’ve known him for 25 years. At a lot of other areas, the docs have come and gone,” Breck’s Mortensen says. “We’re pushing pretty hard to be at the forefront of what we do, but a lot of it comes down to politics.” That forefront involves supplies, treatment protocols, and getting patients off the hill. Patrols obsessively check out what other resorts are doing to see if it might make sense for them. “Aspen Highlands, for instance, has a fairly aggressive pain-medicines program,” Mortensen says. “They’re adopting strategies from the military field. In combat, the injured receive ketamine [an anesthetic], so now some ski areas give ketamine. These are the conversations we have and are having with our doc.” What’s more, the focus on critical care reflects changes that are happening industry-wide. “The old boys’ club of the ski industry, with their ‘This is how we’ve done it, this is how we’ve always done it, suck it up and get in my toboggan’ attitude, has gone by the wayside,” Mortensen says. “Now we can offer a ton of free services. We were Obamacare way before there was Obamacare.” O

says. He’s also adamant that patrollers need to be thinking about the bigger picture of medical care, especially when transportation time is long. “The level of care off the hill makes all the difference in treatment,” Kaplan says. “What’s down the road at the next decision point impacts how you give care. It’s pretty stressful when you have someone who is really unstable and you’re waiting for the ambulance to show up.” Breckenridge and Bear take different approaches because there’s no industry standard for ski-patrol medical care. Ski patrol is a part of the EMS system, but that can differ county by county, and patrols depend on their individual medical

28

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

FROM TOP: JAKE FOJTIK (7); KERI BASCETTA

“It’s stressful when you have someone who is unstable and you’re waiting for the ambulance.”


photo © Blake Jorgenson

ANOTHER

AMPLIFIED ALL-MOUNTAIN PERFORMANCE Experience unbridled access to all terrain and snow conditions. Maneuverability, versatility, precision, and control allow you to confidently up your game and enjoy Another Best Day. The entire mountain awaits – experience more.

EXPERIENCE 88 HD

TEMPTATION 88 www.rossignol.com


Home of the ABB/Ski Magazine Boot Test

Fresh

skisolitude.com

PUTTING PERFORMANCE BACK INTO YOUR PERFORMANCE WEAR New clothes. New rules on how to keep them clean. » Each year we spend more than we’d probably like to admit on gear; this year’s new tech shell, a fresh set of baselayers, that puffy you’ve had your eye on for months. So, with all the money we pour into our performance wear, it’s important to know how to take care of it too. By Jack Foersterling

DOWN

For many skiers, the fear of ruining their down jacket by washing it incorrectly prevents them from ever washing it at all. However, regular washing will prolong the life of your puffy, and it’s not much more work than your average load of laundry. One of the biggest keys is washing it in a frontloading machine (your jacket can snag or rip in the agitator of a top loader). Make sure all zippers and Velcro are closed and wash the jacket on cold with a gentle or down-specific detergent. Dry on a low or no-heat setting, and toss in a few clean tennis balls to help restore the loft. It may take several gentle cycles to fully dry out the jacket. Don’t use bleach or fabric softener, and never iron down. We hope we really don’t need to say that.

TECHNICAL SHELLS

Most technical shells are coated with a durable water repellent (DWR) that keeps you dry and warm. DWRs deteriorate over time from dirt, sunscreen, sweat, etc., and this means your shell should be cleaned more than you think. Begin with closing zippers and releasing tension on the drawcords. Wash on normal with a liquid, free-rinsing soap. Steer clear of detergents. Companies such as Nikwax offer washes for cleaning waterproof textiles. If water no longer beads up on your jacket, pop it in the dryer for 20 minutes on the warm cycle, or iron it on warm with a towel between the jacket and iron. The heat will help reactivate the water-repellent properties. There are also wash-in and spray-on reapplications of DWR to bring your jacket back to life.

BASELAYERS

For obvious reasons (especially to the dude next to you) baselayers should be washed frequently. One of the most popular materials, merino wool, resists odor and can be worn multiple times between washings. When it’s time, machine wash in cold water. Use the normal wash setting to make sure the detergent is fully rinsed out. While some companies say you can tumble dry their merino garments on low heat, we prefer hang drying to prevent shrinkage. Baselayers made of synthetics like nylon, polyester, and spandex should be washed as frequently as possible. Machine wash in warm water on the permanent-press setting, followed by hanging to dry or tumble drying on low. Remove quickly from dryer to prevent wrinkles.

Snickers bar was in your pocket. Here are some tips on getting that pesky stain out of your gear.

Blood Immediately rinse with cold water. Then soak in salt water. If the stain has dried, soak the garment in a solution of ammonia and water before washing per the care tag. Do not use hot water; it will set the stain.

30

SKI MAGAZINE

Wine Apply a solution of two cups of water, a tablespoon of vinegar, and a tablespoon of liquid detergent. If that doesn’t work, apply a solution of hydrogen peroxide, detergent, and water. If that doesn’t work, pour yourself another glass and forget about it.

{ September 2016 }

Wethersfield The Alpine Haus (860) 563-2244

Massachusetts Canton Boston Ski+Tennis/Ski Stop (781) 821-6278 Framingham Summit Ski & Snowboard (508) 875-5551 Newton Boston Ski+Tennis (617) 964-0820 Wachusett Mtn. Mountainside Ski & Sport (978) 464-2300 x4 Westborough Boston Ski+Tennis (508) 616-2024 Westford/Nashoba Valley Summit Ski & Snowboard (866) 754-9255 Westwood Boston Ski+Tennis/Ski Stop (781) 329-3616

New Hampshire Concord S&W Sports (603) 228-1441 Newbury Bob Skinner’s Ski & Sport (603) 763-2303

New York

Coffee Blot up the excess with a clean cloth. Mix a quart of warm water, a half teaspoon of detergent, and one tablespoon of white vinegar and soak for 15 minutes. Rinse well with water, blot the stain with isopropyl alcohol, and then wash in warm soapy water.

Ellicottville Mud Sweat n’ Gears (716) 699-8300 Glenmont/Valatie Steiner’s Sports (518) 427-2406

JAKE FOJTIK (3)

Chocolate Start by scraping away as much as possible. Next, immerse in milk or a mixture of egg yolk and denatured alcohol for a few minutes. Finish by washing with warm soapy water.

Connecticut

Plymouth Richelson’s Feet First (800) 371-3447

Fighting the common stain. » It happens to the best of us: a gnarly crash, a rowdy après, forgetting that Beer Rub a solution of vinegar and warm water into the stain, then wash per garment care tag.

NORTHEAST

Hunter The Pro Ski & Ride (518) 263-5303 New York City U.S. Orthotic Center (212) 832-1648 Rochester Foot Performance Ctr. (585) 473-5950


W H E N YO U R B O OT S F I T B E T T E R , YO U S K I B E T T E R

S H O P P R O F I L E S | S K I B O OT R E V I E W S | F I T T I N G A DV I C E

UNIVERSITY Certified Bootfitters

Kevin Gabriel rips a boot test in Honeycomb Canyon

Windham Mt. Boot Lab at Windham Mt. Sports (518) 734-4300 x1190

Vermont Killington Northern Ski Works (802) 422-9675 Ludlow/Okemo Mt. Northern Ski Works (802) 228-3344 Ludlow/Okemo Mt. The Boot Pro (802) 228-2776 Mt. Snow Mt. Snow Boot Works (802) 464-4052 Stowe Inner Bootworks (802) 253-6929 Stratton/Bromley Green Mountain Orthotics Lab (802) 875-1122 Warren/Sugarbush Alpine Options (802) 583-1763 MID-ATLANTIC

Golden Boot Mechanics (303) 916-6498 Shrewsbury Ski Barn (732) 945-3900 Wayne Ski Barn (973) 256-8585

Morris Plains Pelican Sports Center (973) 267-0964

Steamboat Springs One Stop Ski Shop (970) 879-4916

Virginia Leesburg Pro-Fit Ski & Mtn. (703) 771-7669 SOUTH

Minnesota St. Paul Joe’s Ski Shop (651) 209-7800

South Carolina Columbia Southern Ski (803) 556-4949

Texas Austin/Dallas St. Bernard Sports (512) 320-1999 (214) 357-9700

New Jersey Lawrenceville Ski Barn (609) 530-1666

Pagosa Springs Ski & Bow Rack (970) 264-2370

MIDWEST

Illinois Chicago & Barrington Viking Ski Shop (773) 276-1222

Michigan

ROCKIES

Arizona Flagstaff Humphrey Summit Ski (928) 779-1308

Colorado Aspen/Snowmass Thotic Shops at Aspen Sports (970) 618-2530 Boulder Boulder Orthotics at Neptune Mtnring (303) 709-6364

Paramus Ski Barn (201) 445-9070

Ann Arbor Sun and Snow Sports (734) 663-9515

Breckenridge A Racer’s Edge (970) 453-7600

Pequannock Heino’s Ski & Cycle (973) 696-3044

Plymouth Sun and Snow Sports (734) 927-0007

Englewood The Custom Foot (303) 761-4002

Telluride Bootdoctors (970) 728-8954 Vail Skibootfitting Inc. at Vail & BC Sports (802) 379-1014 Winter Park Le Feet Lab (970) 726-9841

Idaho Sandpoint Alpine Shop (208) 263-5157

Montana Big Sky Grizzly Outfitters (406) 995-2939

New Mexico Taos Ski Valley Boot Doctors (575) 776-2489 Utah Park City Park City Boot Room (435) 901-2562

Park City Park City Ski Boot (435) 776-7883 SaltLake City Daleboot (901) 487-3649

Wyoming Jackson/ Teton Village Jackson Hole Sports (307) 739-2687 WEST

California Berkeley California Ski Co. (510) 527-6411 Big Bear Lake Goldsmith’s Boardhouse (909) 866-2728 Studio City Ski Net Sports (818) 505-1294

Oregon Mt. Bachelor Gravity Sports at Mount Bachelor (541) 382-2442 x2119 Portland Next Adventure (503) 233-0706

Washington Seattle Alpine Hut (206) 284-3575


Fresh

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Base price » $28,370 Highway MPG » 31 Ski-trip nicety » Electronic on-demand AWD

Fast Lane Goes Code Green

Going all in for an eco-friendly ride no longer means sacrificing performance, with mountainready power now underfoot. BY ANDY STONEHOUSE

AS ENERGY-EFFICIENT AND

environmentally clean as they may be tooling around on office commutes and kid carpools, most traditional electric and hybrid vehicles, with their small size and limited range, haven’t passed what we call the Boulderto-Vail First-Chair Test—a gearloaded slog over two mountain passes, often on treacherous icy roads. But there’s no longer a need to grade these vehicles on an environmental curve, as the auto industry has responded with eco-friendly options that offer performance along with the cargo space of small SUVs. The popular RAV4 now offers Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system, which blends a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with three electric motors and a 245-volt nickel/metal hydride battery

32

SKI MAGAZINE

pack. That bumps the RAV4 to a peppy 194 horsepower and boosts mileage to 31 MPG on the highway. Electronic ondemand all-wheel-drive is also standard on the hybrid model, with a retuned suspension to help support the RAV’s cleaner but faster performance. Partial electrification also radically updates the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, rendering the new version of that acclaimed three-row SUV a 325-horsepower ultracruiser— and adding seven extra city MPG in the process. The MDX borrows the electric-motor system found in the company’s NSX supercar and combines it with a 3.0-liter engine that deactivates cylinders to save even more fuel. Acura is also moving into semi-autonomous

{ September 2016 }

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Base price » $55,000 Highway MPG » 26 Ski-trip nicety » Futuristic AcuraWatch safety systems 2016 BMW X5 eDrive Hybrid Base price » $62,100 Highway MPG » 56 MPGe Ski-trip nicety » Night-vision camera for mountain roads 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Base price » $37,500 Highway MPG » 200-mile range Ski-trip nicety » 55 cubic feet of storage

driving with a self-steering system. Jewel-eyed headlamps and 20-inch wheels complete the MDX’s upscale, sporty look. After experimenting with all-electric models, BMW opted to load its plug-in eDrive hybrid system into its X5 luxury SUV. The company’s “sports activity vehicle,” equipped with all-wheel drive, becomes a 130-mph-rated, 308-horsepower beast that gets 56 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) when running in full-electric mode. A four-cylinder engine helps the X5 cruise efficiently. A full 72.5 cubic feet of storage, selfleveling air suspension, and some impressive nerd tech, including a night-vision monitor,

put it at the top of the hybrid food chain. Affordable entirely electric motoring looks to have reached a new peak with the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, a nearly SUV-size reinterpretation of the newest Volt hybrid. The Bolt, priced at $37,500 before federal or state incentives, promises 200 miles of range, a figure that might be diminished by winter cold—but is still enough to get the five-passenger crossover to your favorite charging-stationequipped resort to refuel while you ski. All that battery capacity gives the Bolt the equivalent of 200 horsepower as well, more than enough to power you to first tracks. O

FROM TOP: COURTESY OF TOYOTA MOTORS; COURTESY OF TESLA MOTORS

drive

TESLA’S (AFFORDABLE) FUTURE? » America’s most ambitious new automaker has cornered the market in advanced—and costly— all-electric vehicles with the Tesla Model X. The company’s gull-winged SUV has begun to appear in snowy climes, with prices starting well over $81,000. But that’s a niche market. So Tesla looks to extend its reach with the announcement of the much anticipated Model 3, a $35,000, 215-mile-range allelectric car promised for late 2017. So far so good: Nearly a quarter-million Model 3 enthusiasts have shelled out a $1,000 down payment, sight unseen. We’ll see.


WINTER 2016/2017

Deer Valley VNLWKHGLɲHUHQFH

VNLWKHGLɲHUHQFH VNLWKHGLɲHUHQFH Special Advertising Section


Special Advertising Section


deer valley

Soul / noun /

1. the spiritual part of a person that is believed to give life to the body; 2. the quality that arouses feeling and sentiment. Soul is everywhere you ski. It’s everywhere you spend time with dear friends and family. It’s everywhere you find joy doing what you love. Soul is here at Deer Valley.

Special Advertising Section


snow

Joy / noun / The dominant emotion expressed—often loudly and with fervor— when Utah’s light, dry powder buries the slopes of Deer Valley Resort, from the chutes of Empire Canyon to the glades of Lady Morgan. Also commonly referred to as “Stoke,” and known to roust groggy skiers from their warm beds faster than you can say “first chair.”

Special Advertising Section


Special Advertising Section


grooming

Dedication / noun /

This one simple word deďŹ nes our Mountain Operations team. Our determined snowmakers, who churn out copious early season snow. And our tireless groomers, who work the mountain in two overnight shifts to ensure skiers awaken to the pristine corduroy for which our resort is celebrated. Dedication, indeed.

Special Advertising Section


Special Advertising Section


terrain

Discover / verb / The act of embracing life’s adventures: poaching powder in Triangle Trees, hiking for the ultimate payoff in Ontario Bowl, peering out over Chute 4, plotting your course. Freedom. Exhilaration. Discovery. Our 2,026 glorious acres are yours to explore. Come plant your flag.

GROOMERS You love our corduroy, and you know where to find it: Everywhere! But especially on Bald Mountain, with views of the Jordanelle Reservoir to boot.

GLADES Deer Valley has about 1,000 acres of tree skiing amid beautiful aspens and towering evergreens.

Special Advertising Section


Special Advertising Section


terrain

BUMPS Did you know that an FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup is held here each winter? The mogul course, Champion, is home to the U.S. Ski Team for training throughout the season.

KIDS TERRAIN Our youngest guests love exploring the fun terrain of our 13 Children’s Adventure Trails. They even get their own trail map!

BOWLS AND CHUTES Seek out Empire Canyon for our toughest terrain: Daly Bowl and Chutes.

Special Advertising Section


Special Advertising Section


lodging

Unwind / verb /

We think of our lodging as sanctuaries: spaces where guests can make themselves comfortable, relax, put up their tired feet, and just unwind. Your home base awaits. We sure hope you’ll stay awhile.

Special Advertising Section


SNOW PARK Our base area, Snow Park is home to Trail’s End Lodge (shown), Lodges at Deer Valley, Black Diamond Lodge, Silver Baron Lodge, and St. Regis Deer Valley. It’s a quick walk or shuttle ride to Ski School, the Children’s Center, and both the Silver Lake and Carpenter Express chairlifts.

Special Advertising Section


lodging

SILVER LAKE Nestled at mid-mountain, Silver Lake Village features a pedestrian village and hotels such as the Inn at Silver Lake, Stag Lodge and Stein Eriksen Lodge. It also offers delicious dining at The Mariposa and Royal Street CafĂŠ. EMPIRE PASS Our most secluded lodging is high up on the mountain and boasts ski-in/ski-out access at properties such as Flagstaff Lodge, The Grand Lodge, Shooting Star, Arrowleaf Lodge and Montage Deer Valley. SIGNATURE COLLECTION With access and amenities in mind, these homes, studios, townhouses and condominiums enjoy concierge service and a dedicated attention to detail.

STAG LODGE

Special Advertising Section


SHOOTING STAR

ARROWLEAF LODGE

THE GRAND LODGE

Special Advertising Section


Special Advertising Section


service

Genuine / adjective /

When we say “be our guest,” we mean it. That’s why Deer Valley® team members go the extra mile to unload your skis at our curbside valet, clear your table after lunch, and show you around the slopes during a complimentary Mountain Host tour. And that’s just a start.

Special Advertising Section


FARM TO TABLE Father-and-son team Grant and Russ Kohler of Heber Valley Creamery (below) provide the milk used by Deer Valley cheesemaker Corinne Cornet-Coniglio (right) to make the seven styles of cheeses served daily in our restaurants and sold in local markets.

Special Advertising Section


dining

Savor / verb / To taste. To indulge. To live in the moment, acknowledging the value of a shared experience. At Deer Valley, the act of dining together is celebrated every day in our restaurants, where gathering for a meal remains one of life’s simplest pleasures. From our ďŹ ne-dining establishments to our panini station, a delicious meal is the ideal complement to a perfect ski day.

Special Advertising Section


dining

dining

MEET OUR EXECUTIVE CHEFS From left to right: Heather Prine, Empire Canyon Lodge; Brian Henning, Snow Park Lodge; Steve Harty, Pastry Chef; Clark Norris, Silver Lake Lodge

Special Advertising Section


1

OUR RESTAURANTS 1. The freshest delicacies are flown in Thursday through Sunday for our scrumptious Seafood Buffet at Snow Park Lodge featuring a variety of stations, including the poke bar (shown). 2. Don’t skip dessert at Snow Park Restaurant, where our in-house pastry chef whips up cakes, cookies and more from scratch. 3. The offerings at Empire Canyon Restaurant run from build your own salads (shown) at the Natural Buffet to soups, chilies and a panini station. 4. Royal Street Café’s Dungeness crab tower and ahi tacos make it our go-to sit down lunch spot on the mountain. 5. Carve out time for a special night out at The Mariposa, Deer Valley’s signature fine dining experience. With an intimate setting inside Silver Lake Lodge, The Mariposa specializes in small plates, allowing guests to enjoy the many superb flavors offered here.

5

2

3

4

Special Advertising Section


dining

6

Special Advertising Section


7

OUR RESTAURANTS 6. Deer Valley meets the Alps at Fireside Dining, a signature dining experience featuring European-inspired cuisine, from authentic Swiss raclette to hearty stews served in front of five majestic stone fireplaces. 7. At The Brass Tag, inside the Lodges at Deer Valley, enjoy a gastropub menu of items cooked over an open flame. 8. Stop by the Deer Valley Grocery-Café for breakfast, lunch and early supper, sandwiches, gourmet sundries, take-and-bake entrées, and even beer, wine and liquor. 9. The taco bar is one of our most popular food stations at Silver Lake Restaurant, which also features a Pho station, a grill and a Natural Buffet salad bar.

8

9

Special Advertising Section


Reconnect

friends & family

/ verb /

Special Advertising Section

The act of spending quality time with family and friends. Often involves great food, tasty cocktails, good conversation and belly laughs. Has been known to occur in various locales around Deer Valley Resort (The Brass Tag is pictured). Also leads to the making of lasting memories.


Special Advertising Section


ski school

Breakthrough / noun / That moment when it all comes together: when the progression of learning intersects with the sheer determination of will and a new skill is mastered. From first turns to first black diamond runs, our Ski School is there to support the goals of skiers of all levels, because after all, the breakthrough moment isn’t a one-time deal.

Special Advertising Section


Special Advertising Section


park city

Buzz / noun /

We want a lot of things from our ski vacation. Sure, great snow, challenging terrain, and good grooming. (We’ve got those in spades.) But what’s on tap in downtown Park City, five minutes from our slopes, is less measurable, but no less important. It’s a feel-good vibe. It’s a palpable energy. Spend an evening perusing Main Street’s eclectic boutiques, bars, restaurants, and galleries. The buzz, you’ll find, is contagious.

On the slopes before noon Special Advertising Section


Special Advertising Section


Special Advertising Section


community

Tribe / noun / Skiing is not merely a sport; it’s a way of life. It brings us together. It inspires us. It creates cherished memories. At Deer Valley, these shared experiences transform us from individuals to members of the same tribe. When you’re here, you’re family. Welcome to our tribe.

Special Advertising Section


Special Advertising Section


access

Ease / noun /

They say getting there is half the fun, but we skiers know different—especially when getting there means less time on the slopes. World-class skiing within 36 easy-driving miles from one of the most efficient international airports in the country? That’s our geographic fortune, and we’d like to share it with you. Because being here is all the fun.

Special Advertising Section


TONY GAUBA PHOTO

Special Advertising Section


stein eriksen

Legacy / noun / Character is how you act when nobody is watching. Legacy is your character viewed over an arc of a lifetime. “Ski like Stein” was both a passionate call to the mountains for a generation and an inspirational, but unattainable, goal. A skier of singular style and artful grace, Stein Eriksen was more than the sum of his gifts to the sport he loved. He wrote his, and skiing’s, legacy every day on the slopes. A Deer Valley icon, he will be greatly missed. Stein Eriksen 1927-2015

Special Advertising Section


#DeerValleyMoment Visit deervalley.com or call 800-558-3337 for more information about booking your Deer Valley vacation.

OFFICIAL VEHICLE OF DEER VALLEY RESORT

Special Advertising Section

Download our complimentary interactive online Winter Guide at deervalley.com/winterguide. DEER VALLEY IS A SKI ONLY RESORT.


Go WHERE TO GO. WHAT TO DO.

travel

Purgatory Mountain, Colo.

A new owner’s passion for the sport—and new old name—mark an exciting change for a beautiful San Juan ski resort. BY STEPHEN SEBESTYEN

COAL USED BY THE DURANGO & SILVERTON RAILROAD PER ROUND TRIP (POUNDS)

SIZE OF THE TOWN OF DURANGO (SQUARE MILES)

1889

YEAR OF THE HISTORIC FIRE THAT DAMAGED MUCH OF MAIN STREET

34

SKI MAGAZINE

bouncing off the mountain in front of me. While Jagger isn’t on stage, the Stone cover band playing outside at the base of Purgatory’s main lift is impressive, and it shows no signs of stopping in the below-freezing temps. While I can barely account for the contents of my own gloves, their bare fingers fly across fret boards and nimbly pick out solos, amps screaming through the cold air. Is this good for my ears? Absolutely not. Am I going to give up my spot this close to the stage for Purgatory’s 50th anniversary party? Absolutely not. Purgatory has a lot to celebrate during my February visit. In addition to reaching the half-century mark, the resort is enjoying its first season under new ownership, whose opening gambit included a high-speed quad on the back side to replace the notoriously slow Lift 8, new snow guns, additional trails and tree lines, and, with Mother Nature’s help, one of the better snowpacks in years. All these factors contributed to a 17-year high in skier visits last season, which, as the Stones remind us, caused great satisfaction. Having spent my formative years growing up in Durango, Purgatory holds a special place as my hometown hill, and like every skier returning home, I’ve got my favorite lines and zones across the mountain. By the time I pull the bar down on my first lift ride of the cloudless morning, I’ve already mapped out my entire day, beginning with a descent to the back side and Chair 8. Three hours later, my legs are burning and my face is stuck in a frozen perma-grin. My favorite areas are just as I remembered. Better, even. Purgatory has a unique blend of kid-friendly zones spliced with short, steep, mogul-filled pitches that can entertain the most seasoned shredders, creating an approachable yet challenging mountain for any level of skier. With 91 trails across eight lifts, there is always new terrain to explore. And what’s more, even after more than a decade of skiing the mountain, today I was introduced to new lines and secret stashes by Purgatory’s new owner, James Coleman. In early 2015, Purgatory (which at the time was still called Durango Mountain Resort) was put up for sale and immediately purchased by Coleman, who, though relatively unknown to the Durango business community, was already well versed in ski-area operations. Coleman, along with his investors and management team, operates Arizona Snowbowl

{ September 2016 }

MAIN: COURTESY OF PURGATORY RESORT/SCOTT DW SMITH. RIGHT: SCOTT DW SMITH (3)

12,000

THE ICONIC TUNES OF THE ROLLING STONES ECHO OFF THE LIFT TOWERS,


The San Juans viewed from Lift One, a high-speed sixpack from the village. Right: A husky awaits his musher at Durango Dog Ranch; the spoils on Upper Catharsis, a classic Purg double diamond; sunset over Needles Mountains, a group of fourteeners.

{{ September September 2016 2015 }}

SKI MAGAZINE

35


1,360 10,822 260

Go

ANNUAL SNOWFALL (INCHES)

in Flagstaff, New Mexico’s Pajarito Mountain in Los Alamos, and Sipapu ski area near Taos. And thus Purgatory joins the Power Pass, unlimited days at Coleman’s four Four Corners resorts. Coleman, who fell in love with skiing in high school and spent time carving up Purgatory before college, has already invested millions of dollars in Purgatory. While

EAT Hit Dante’s Backside Bistro atop Chair 5 for seared elk medallions accompanied by panoramic views of the San Juan Mountains. For frontside munchies, head to Purgy’s Slopeside for modern American cuisine in a casual atmosphere, complete with a full bar and après scene. In town, make a reservation at Mutu’s Italian Kitchen or the recently rebuilt Seasons Grill on Main Avenue.

SKIABLE ACRES

he doesn’t shy away from talking about development plans, the conversation always returns to skiing. He is front and center to help Mountain Ops with whatever obstacle is currently looming. “My second favorite thing to do after skiing,” Coleman says, “is run a chainsaw.” And run a chainsaw he has. Coleman not only helps fell trees, but he designed and helped build the new snowmaking apparatus that provides coverage for the new runs below Chair 8. Replaced this season, Chair 8 grants access to some of Purgatory’s steeper bumps and trees on the back side. It had long been a thorn in Purg’s side thanks to its speed, or lack

thereof. The new lift cuts ride time in half (it’s now four and half minutes to the top). While the midway loading station was well loved by locals who will miss the hot laps it offered, the ride from the bottom is quick enough that it all evens out. And there’s more. Purgatory has been working with the U.S. Forest Service to design and approve a master plan for the next decade, including additional lift improvements. Yet with all the tangible changes, one of the most notable tweaks has merely been restoring the original name, Purgatory. After the resort’s

Gather ’round the fire pit at The Bear Bar & Grille for an après-ski dose of local camaraderie, strong drinks, and stellar barbecue.

SUMMIT ELEVATION (FEET)

15 years as Durango Mountain Resort, Coleman wasted no time in swapping it back, instituting the change within a week of taking ownership. “Put $6 million into a lift, people love it. Change the name back to Purgatory, people love it twice as much.” It’s clear that Purgatory’s future now rests in the hands (gloves?) of a passionate skier. And as I stand in the crowd at the base, nearly frozen to the core but somehow still able to dance, I can’t help but think it fitting that one of the last songs played is “Start Me Up.” And the crowd goes wild. Here’s to another 50 years, Purgatory. O

SLEEP

COURTESY OF PURGATORY RESORT

Two cozy ski-in, ski-out locations at the bottom of Purgatory, Purgatory Lodge and Purgatory Village Condo Hotel, both make staying at the hill comfortable and convenient. The city of Durango, which is only a half-hour drive south, boasts a wide variety of excellent hotels, including the historic Strater, the rustic and inviting Leland House, and the small but intimate Nobody’s Inn.

DRINK At the base, it’s all about Purgy’s, especially the beach and outdoor bar in fairer weather. Paradise Pizzeria is another good option. Try a local beer from one of Durango’s many microbreweries.

36

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


© 2016 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Westin and its logo are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates.

You Don’t Need More Vacation Days. You Need Better Ones. It’s time for a better vacation. From our reinvigorating SuperfoodsRx™ menu to the revitalizing Heavenly Bed®, at Westin Resorts, every element of your stay has been designed to enhance your well-being.

Book a better break at westin.com/resorts

B LU E M O U N TA I N

BEAVER CREEK

MONT-TREMBLANT

M A M M OT H

W H I ST L E R

CHANGBAISHAN

S N OW M A S S


Go

tip sheet

North Peak, Keystone, Colo. Push your teens and tweens just outside their comfort zone at a resort that really gets ski families. BY GREG DITRINCO

THE OUTPOST

NORTH PEAK

DATA » LOCATION

OUTPOST GONDOLA STARFIRE

DERCUM MOUNTAIN

CAT SOUTH GLADES

SANTIAGO EXPRESS

MOZART

CAT DANCER

North Peak, Keystone Resort, Colo.

» GETTING THERE Make your way to the summit of Dercum Mountain. Hop on the Outpost gondola over to North Peak. You’ll end up at the top of the Santiago Express. Or if you prefer a warmup run: From the Dercum summit, jet down bluesy Mozart to the base of Santiago and ride it to the top.

» VERTICAL DROP 1,600 feet

» SUMMIT ELEVATION 11,660 feet

» SCARE FACTOR

HOW TO SKI IT »

TERRAIN » For parents, it doesn’t get better than skiing with tweens and young teens. They’re old enough to rip yet young enough to (barely) tolerate being seen with you in public. North Peak isn’t a secret stash, but it’s a tasty menu of long runs and variable settings—bumps, groomed steeps, and glades—all funneling down to the Santiago Express, so there aren’t any wrong-turn worries. The Outpost day lodge awaits at the top of North Peak for easy refueling breaks.

38

SKI MAGAZINE

It’s no surprise that North Peak has north-facing runs. Get to the top of the Santiago Express around 11 a.m. to give the snow a little time to soften up. Point ’em down Starfire, the first trail on skier’s right. It’s groomed and long, so you can carry plenty of speed by the time you hit the run-out. Next time up, head skier’s left to Cat South Glades. Shop for a line as tight or loose as you like—you’re sure to find something that suits you. The glades steer you onto Lower Cat Dancer. Get acquainted with these bumps because next trip to the top, you’re all in—with no stops if you’re looking to make a parental point while you still can…

{ September 2016 }

BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG FUN »

KICK-A-WHO? »

If you haven’t yet, this is your chance to introduce your kids to the magic of night skiing: nearly empty slopes, cool shadow play from the lifts, and lots of cheap thrills (it always feels like you’re skiing way faster than you actually are). And it’s included in your regular lift ticket, all rolling up to the longest ski day in Colorado.

Wind down at Kickapoo Tavern, in River Run Village. Family-friendly prices. Lots of goggle tans. And plates of nachos so high they nearly need avy control. (A half order will do you.) If you opt for a jolt rather than a nap at this point, the Inxpot Coffeehouse is steps away, and its excellent coffee is super strong.

MAP & PHOTOS: COURTESY OF KEYSTONE

Enough to make it interesting, without any “Don’t go there!” directives yelled at your pinballing progeny. Even better, long bump runs will show your teens who’s still the boss.


#INLOVEWITHSWITZERLAND

because you can, but you don't have to .

Corvatsch, GraubĂźnden

Book now at AlpineAdventures.net and prepare to fall in love!


Go

sleep

scene

Outside Inns

You have to come inside eventually. Luckily, the best new hotels in ski country have a sense of place in every nook and cranny. BY JOE CUTTS AND SAMANTHA BERMAN

THE ARRIVAL OF THE SMART, WHIMSICAL

Lark Hotels brand on the Mountain Road is a nice win for Stowe visitors. The fastgrowing chain of boutique hotels, mostly in classic New England destinations, is earning a reputation for its witty decor, much of which mirrors Vermont’s quirky sensibilities. Like all Lark hotels, Field Guide reflects and revels in its surroundings. Its palette mixes the gray of Vermont slate and weathered barns with bright, perky

40

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

orange. Mod plastic and metal furniture mingles comfortably with old beams and rough barn boards. The lobby is an engaging space—fun/ campy/hipster without overdoing it. There’s one of those white enameled fireplace pods from a ’60s design magazine. More often, the vibe is literally camp. The seasonal outdoor dining area, with its orange picnic tables, feels like the picnic pavilion down by the lake at some church camp. There’s an outdoor fire pit, s’mores

on the menu, cornhole, and shuffleboard. The restaurant, Picnic Social, specializes in affordable small plates and shareables— cheeses and charcuterie, and of course Vermont beers. If “boutique” sounds like “expensive and luxurious” to you, Field Guide isn’t necessarily. The rooms, none of them overly large, are reasonably priced. But truth be told, there is only so much a design makeover could accomplish given the existing structure: The space was for-


FIELD GUIDE Stowe, Vt. fieldguidestowe.com

506 ON THE RIVER INN Woodstock, Vt. Combine eclectic Vermont antiques and knickknacks, balconies with rocking chairs off every room, and lovely views of the Ottauquechee River, and what do you get? Vermont bliss. Two-year-old 506 On the River Inn is a sanctuary for lovers of all things Vermont, from its local comfort food and microbrews served in the 506 Bistro to snowshoeing on woodsy trails right from the hotel (there are snowshoes and poles to borrow). And as if this were all not picture-perfect enough, the Macksouds, who own the hotel, also have a maple sugarbush and country store. Naturally. ontheriverwoodstock.com

Coming Soon...

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: COURTESY OF LARK HOTEL ; COURTESY OF 506 ON THE RIVER INN; COURTESY OF AVERILL HOSPITALITY; COURTESY OF HOTEL TALISA

THE BLAKE Taos Ski Valley, N.M. The Blake—named for the ski area’s legendary founding father, Ernie Blake—will boast Spanishinfluenced decor, Native American–inspired treatments in the spa, and regional artwork.

LIMELIGHT KETCHUM Ketchum, Idaho The second location of the popular Aspen hotel debuts in December with a bright, inviting lobby and lounge, an amazing (and free) continental breakfast and après-ski, and 108 chic hotel rooms.

HOTEL TALISA Vail, Colo.

merly Ye Olde England Inne—we’re not making that up. So expect a few tight hallways and low ceilings. And staffing is unapologetically minimal— you can dispense with the idea of a fawning concierge. But that’s all part of keeping the price right, without skimping on fun. And hey, it turns out Field Guide is in good company, with several likeminded lodgings debuting around ski country this season.

A $35 million renovation of the former Vail Cascade Resort & Spa property will touch almost every aspect of the hotel. Highlights will include a new dining concept, a lounge with live music, and upscale decor and amenities added to the 285 guest rooms.

THE FIREBRAND Whitefish, Mont. Not only has a boutique hotel finally opened in the heart of downtown Whitefish, but its Northern Rockies spirit and use of local materials will score The Firebrand a home run among locals and visitors alike. The 86-room property opened over the summer, greeting guests with its lovely granite-and-stone facade. The gigantic logs set a woodsy, outdoor vibe and are also a gracious nod to Whitefish’s logging heritage. Take in expansive town and mountain views from the rooftop patio, where you can remember why you checked in here in the first place. firebrandhotel.com

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

41


eat

Go Fast Food

Single-handed snacks for skiers on the run. BY SAMANTHA BERMAN CROWDS, LUNCH LINES, PACKED TABLES, OH MY. SOMETIMES YOU JUST WANT QUICK SUSTENANCE

TRY IT: TOASTED POCKET SANDWICH At: Jafflz, Park City Resort, Utah This toasted-sandwich concept came to Park City from South Africa of all places. Chef Meryl Van Der Merwe grew up in Cape Town eating leftovers toasted between two pieces of bread on a “jaffle iron.” Reckoning that these savory or sweet sammies would be the ideal food for the active folks in her new hometown of Park City, she created Jafflz. Ski over to the on-mountain stand at the top of the Red Pine gondola, where they serve breakfast (try the Chilaquiles Jaffle, with housemade pickled jalapeños, eggs, pico de gallo, cheddar, and cilantro), lunch (the Ba-bootie Jaffle is a South African–influenced sweet-and-sour lamb curry), and even dessert (s’mores, yum!). Bonus: These are just the right size to pop into your pocket for your next ride up the lift.

TRY IT: FROG DOG At: Euro Snack, Northstar, Calif.

TRY IT: BELGIAN WAFFLE At: Waffle Cabin, Okemo, Vt., and Waffle Way, Vail, Colo.

culture

Ski up to Waffle Cabin’s sliding window at Okemo’s Jackson Gore base and order yours plain or drizzled with chocolate sauce, inhaling the sweet smell of these delicious fresh-baked treats while you wait. At Waffle Way, just below Vail’s Black Forest racecourse, skiers schuss over for gourmet, snack-size waffles topped with their choice of sauces. Possibly the perfect ski-day nibble.

A Frog Dog is a French-inspired creation, a hot dog cooked inside a baguette. Served at three Euro Snack locations—on Northstar’s pedestrian plaza, midmountain, and at the summit—these portable eats make an easy and filling snack any time of day.

Audain Art Museum, Whistler, B.C.

Why would Canada’s biggest art enthusiast—a non-skier—build a museum to house his extensive collection in a ski resort? Good question, and one that’s been asked of Michael Audain many times since he announced plans in 2012 for a 56,000-square-foot state-of-theart facility tucked into a quiet spruce forest at the Blackcomb base. For the beautiful setting, no doubt, which has itself inspired many artistic endeavors. And the opportunity to show an international crowd artwork exclusively from British Columbia, some of which dates back 200 years. The museum, which opened in March, has several temporary exhibitions in addition to the 200-work permanent collection, and in keeping with Audain’s belief that art should be accessible to the younger generation, admission for kids 16 and under is gratis. $18 ages 17 and up; audainartmuseum.com

42

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

FROM TOP: COURTESY OF JAFFLZ; COURTESY OF OKEMO MOUNTAIN RESORT/ROB BOSSI; COURTESY OF AUDAIN ART MUSEUM

and a swift exit. Judging by the number of quick-eat food trucks, stands, and cabins cropping up near the slopes, more and more skiers support this cause. Check out these speedy options when your stomach growls but the powder calls.


MORE snow in our forecast. We make winter on demand. Our state-of-the-art snowmaking system means we’re always in the eye of the storm.

Buy one get one free lift ticket, 24-hour advanced registration required at killington.com/skimag Offer valid through 12/16/16


Go family

Head Strong When it comes to choosing the right helmet, little skiers deserve big protection.

You tell your kid to use her head. Well, here’s her chance. This season’s helmet lineup represents an impressive focus on safety and comfort in brightly colored, affordable packages. More and more kids’ helmets are featuring MIPS technology, dialed-in fit systems, and lighter weights to keep kids warm, safe, and happy. So parents: Use your head and invest in the best possible brain bucket this season. Really, what’s more important?

BY TYLER KRAFT

SWEET PROTECTION Blaster Kids with MIPS

SCOTT Apic Plus Jr.

SALOMON Grom

Sweet Protection has created one of the lightest kids’ helmets on the market with the Blaster. The in-mold design won’t weigh him down, while the ABS hardshell reinforcement will keep him safe when gravity happens. It even comes with space for contact info in case your little one forgets the most important piece of gear he owns. $140; sweetprotection.com

A smaller version of Scott’s Apic Plus, this helmet didn’t lose any of its technology during the shrinking process. It utilizes Scott’s G-Vent system to pull air through the goggle to get rid of fog. And like its larger namesake, Jr. is also designed for comfort thanks to a fit system that adjusts to your kid’s head without applying pressure. $90; scott-sports.com

As the lightest helmet of the bunch—coming in at just over 10 ounces—the Grom is perfect for kids who don’t want to be slowed down. The adjustable dial in the back ensures a comfortable but secure fit for all head sizes. The Grom also boasts 10 vents, so your hotheaded offspring can finally cool down. $70; salomon.com

POC POCito Fornix

K2 Illusion

GIRO Nine Jr. MIPS

SMITH Pivot Jr. with MIPS

Do you have a mini heart attack when your child even comes close to falling? Check out the Fornix. POC employs military-grade Aramid reinforcements to make sure the light outer core doesn’t crack in a crash. It comes only in bright colors, plus the reflective patches make sure that you—and everyone else on the mountain—know exactly where your kid is at all times. $130; pocsports.com

The Illusion will make sure your kid stands out from the crowd thanks to an LED light on the back of the helmet that flashes as he makes his way down the slope. Goggle clips and a tightening mechanism allow your grom to easily adjust his own goggles and helmet, saving you time— and aggravation. $90; k2skis.com

Tired of hearing about a helmet that doesn’t fit right? The In Form Fit System molds comfortably to any head shape, while the ear pads can be removed to make room. The helmet also features adjustable vents, keeping her noggin warm while making sure her goggles don’t fog up. Because no one needs to hear about that. $110; giro.com

The Pivot Jr. is one of the most advanced helmets on the market. With 13 vents, airflow climate control, and a self-adjusting fit system, comfort is all but guaranteed. It is also beanie compatible and comes in an array of shiny, happy—and highvisibility—colors. $160; smithoptics.com

44

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


ENFORCER 100

ENFORCER 93

SANTA ANA 100

SANTA ANA 93

SMOOTH. POWERFUL. PLAYFUL. The official skis of here and here and here and here and here and here… nordica.com


Buyers Guide

2017 Can we be honest? Because, truth is, while there’s lots of great gear on the market, some stuff’s just better than the rest. Trust our testers. They call it like they see it, and will steer you toward the best skis and boots. Honesty gets us in trouble sometimes. We’ll take our chances.

48

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

Skis by Joe Cutts Boots by Mark Elling and Steve Cohen


TESTER Mark Elling LOCATION Empire Glades, Deer Valley, Utah

PHOTOGRAPH BY KERI BASCETTA

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

49


Buyers Guide 2017 trends

2017

Trend Report Narrower waists, more-comfortable boots, better values, and lighter everything: your executive summary of what we learned at this year’s test and how the ski-gear marketplace is evolving.

Slimmer Waists Can’t carve a turn? You’re not alone; instructors we polled say fewer than 10 percent of skiers can. Fat skis have hogged the limelight, but this year brings a batch of groomed-snow knives for speed junkies. Tip and rip. Shown, from left: Fischer The Curv, Blizzard Quattro RX, Völkl Flair 81

Walkable Boots The goal: edgy alpine-boot performance with just enough sole rocker for easy walkability. Salomon got it going with WTR boots. Rossi/ Look/Lange bought in with Dual binding options. Now Marker and Dalbello (recently united as partners, along with Völkl) join in with GripWalk. Slap on a GripWalk sole and your boots are made for walking. Shown: Dalbello Panterra 120

50

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


Top Brands We don’t just test and review them, we rank them. That way you can see how test skis stack up against one another. As always, we warn you not to focus exclusively on the data. Testing, we admit, is subjective. But it’s interesting to see which brands, in the aggregate estimation of 16 veteran testers, crushed it across all categories. This year, that would be Nordica, whose skis had an average ranking of 2.9, followed by Head (3.5), Völkl (5.0), and Rossignol (5.1). (The least successful brand, out of 18 represented at the test, had an average ranking of 15.4. We won’t name names.) In boots, Lange was tops (3.1), followed by Tecnica (5.0). Shown: Lange XT 130, Head Supershape i.Rally, Nordica Enforcer 93

Look...No More Rossi Bindings Who makes better bindings, Rossi or Look? It’s a trick question. Most skiers know they’re the same, just with different paint jobs. Now the Rossignol Group has decided to dispense with banner going forward. Shown: Look Pivot 14 Dual

ners in the November issue.

top-selling price point used to be $299. Now wisely investing in better boots and skilled bootfitting.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY BAILEY LARUE


Buyers Guide 2017 trends

Form, Function Does any brand beat Line for creative ski graphics? In our subjective opinion: No. It helps when one of your athletes, Eric Pollard, happens to be as good at painting as he is at skiing. Both skis here bear his artwork. Shown: Line Magnum Opus (top) and Mordecai

Warmer...

Lighter...

Aftermarket boot-heater brands—notably Hotronic and Therm-ic—have been around for a while, making life toastier for cold toes. Salomon (X Pro Custom Heat W) and Elan (Delight) both offer women’s boots with heaters already integrated. Shown: Salomon X Pro Custom Heat W

52

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

Strong, light plastics like Grilamid and Pebax have migrated from backcountry to alpine boots. Salomon’s X Pro, K2’s Pinnacle Pro, Atomic’s Hawx Ultra, Tecnica’s Cochise—the list of new, lighter-than-ever boots from big brands goes on. Shown: Atomic Hawx Ultra 130

More Comfortable Easy-to-soften plastics make customfitting a snap (Salomon Custom Shell, Atomic Memory Fit, K2 Fitlogix, Fischer Vacuum). Now Nordica’s Infrared heatand-mold system uses suction to stretch the shell while the customer wears it. Shown: Nordica Speedmachine 130


Bring the mountain to your house Get in 100 days before the season starts! “The BootMaster is a masterpiece when it comes to working on your form... It takes your workout to the next level!� 13HUJLYₔ)VZ[VU4(

Securely holds boot in place while allowing `V\[VZHMLS`Z[LWVŃœ at any time. Positions you in the proper forward lean.

%RRWPDVWHU%HQHÀWV • Get comfortable in your boots before hitting the slopes. • Aligns you in the proper position over your boots. • Actively engages your core. 5HÀQHV\RXUUHWUDFWLRQIRUSHUIHFWO\OLQNHGWXUQV • Duplicates the feel of the mountain. GD\WULDO\HDUZDUUDQW\ %XUQXSWRFDORULHVKU

allow forward pressure on the front of the boot.

Bringing you excellence in skiing for over 30 years!

Skiing at Your Best! TM

Expect Extraordinary! TM

The #1 Technical Ski Conditioner in the WorldÂŽ

EXCLUSIVE Official Supplier to the World’s Best Ski TeamsŽ

For a FREE DVD and Buyer’s Guide, Call

800-225-9669 EXT:1216 SkiersEdge.com Š 2015/2016 The Skier’s EdgeŽ Company

Park City, Utah • 801-975-8100


Buyers Guide 2017

Men’s skis Pick your pleasure. A fat, smeary surfer for steep-and-deep days? A precision scalpel for groomer days? A do-it-all generalist for anything and everything? Just be decisive, because the best skis are the first to sell out. TESTER Mark Elling LOCATION Daly Chutes, Deer Valley

PHOTOGRAPHS BY KERI BASCETTA

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

55


What

Where

Waist Widths

Capable carvers who know how to pressure an edge.

Wasp-waisted, deepsidecut arc machines.

Check the morning grooming report.

72–84 mm

TESTER Mike Rogan LOCATION Nabob, Deer Valley

56

1.62

4.03

3.90

3.53

3.00

2.18

4.03

3.75

4.08

3.35

2.29

3.79

3.24

3.39

3.39

2.93

3.79

3.69

3.69

O Im vera pre ll ss io

Cr Pe ud rfo rm

es

ss

Fo rgi ve n

Pla y fu lne

n

Q Bu uickn mp e s s s/

3.35

177, 182

Ba Sk lanc ills e of

St at abili Sp t y ee d

170, 177

RTM 84 UVO

s

Flo tat ion

Supershape i.Rally

VÖLKL

Av S c er a g ore e

HEAD

2017 Men’s Groomed Snow Gold Medal Winners

Te Le s t ng th( s)

Has there been a backlash against wide waists and heavy rocker? They’re great in powder, but most days aren’t powder days. While you wait for deep stuff, find some fresh cord, tip and rip, and surrender to the need.

an ce Ha r Int d-S eg no rit w y

men’s

Groomed snow

Buyers Guide 2017

Who

STÖCKLI

Laser AX

175

3.25

1.56

3.74

3.55

3.56

3.33

2.45

3.75

3.60

3.74

HEAD

Supershape i.Titan

170, 177

3.03

1.95

3.55

3.25

2.82

2.62

2.52

3.77

3.20

3.60

KÄSTLE

MX84

168, 176

2.98

1.91

3.43

3.09

3.10

2.77

2.24

3.57

3.23

3.44

ROSSIGNOL

Experience 84 HD

178

2.94

1.86

3.01

3.17

3.17

3.50

2.69

3.19

3.06

2.83

DYNASTAR

Speed Zone 12 Ti

174

2.89

1.44

3.11

3.50

3.66

3.30

1.77

3.39

2.91

2.89

BLIZZARD

Quattro RX

174, 181

2.87

1.99

3.13

2.73

3.36

3.23

2.33

3.31

2.86

2.86

NORDICA

GT 80 Ti EVO

174, 180

2.87

2.06

3.36

2.80

3.10

3.10

2.41

3.09

2.93

2.96

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


Till now the women have had all the fun. This year Head expands its use of graphene to men’s skis. The guys knew the super-thin/strong laminate was coming...but maybe didn’t expect to be blown away? The new i.Rally is vastly improved, earning one of the three highest Overall Impression scores in the test. Graphene adds strength without taking up space, so Head can reshape ski thicknesses, putting mass where it’s needed, removing it elsewhere. The Rally is appreciably light—and blazingly quick—but somehow still damp, edgy, and quiet, no matter how fast testers charged. Larsen: “You can really feel the technology. So much fun for destroying fresh cord. The edge hold gave me ridiculous confidence.”

Völkl RTM 84 UVO

RADIUS 13.7 m (170 cm)

3.35

DIMENSIONS 135-76-114 mm

AVERAGE SCORE

HEAD Supershape i.Rally 3.35

AVERAGE SCORE

MSRP $1,150 (with binding)

MSRP $1,150 (with 14-DIN binding) DIMENSIONS 131-84-112 mm

RADIUS 19 m (182 cm)

The RTM 84 was alone in first place in the carver category last year. This year it has to share the top of the podium. Good thing it’s a ski that never pouts. It still puts up excellent scores in the hard-snow performance criteria with knifey stability, but its generous waist width gives it category-best performance for charging in soft snow and crud. And while there’s plenty of high end, the RTM has a mellow side. It’s light (credit the mass-reducing 3D Profile, thick down the middle, thin over the edges) and behaves well at cruising speeds. Testers said it even likes bumps and other rough play. Schiller: “Tons of stability and a large, damp sweet spot underfoot. Bites into the turn easily, then loads hard and fast in the fall line.” VALUE SCORE 3.53 STRENGTHS #1 Crud Performance, #1 Flotation, #2 Hard-Snow Integrity

DIMENSIONS 123-78-110 mm

RADIUS 15.8 m (175 cm)

The Laser AX is a past winner of the Groomed Snow category and this year remains part of the trio of skis that dominated the top of the rankings. Testers looking for that Stöckli hardsnow precision were not disappointed, admiring its smoothness, exciting rebound energy, and general love of speed. But this year they were more deeply appreciative of its forgiving side. It still loves to be driven hard, but its metal-free layup has a liveliness. The rebound is zesty but not difficult to manage. And check out the consistency of its rankings: No. 4 for Forgiveness was its lowest in any criterion. Rogan: “A bit of a departure from usual Stöckli feel. Still very stable, but also playful. Changes up turn shapes easily.” VALUE SCORE 2.48 STRENGTHS #2 Quickness/Bumps, #2 Playfulness, #3 Stability at Speed

ALSO CONSIDER Laser SC ($1,359): Narrower (72 mm) and metalreinforced—for even higher speeds on harder snow.

3.03

HEAD Supershape i.Titan

MSRP $1,469 (with binding)

AVERAGE SCORE

3.25

ALSO CONSIDER RTM 86 UVO ($1,350 with 14-DIN binding): Roughly same shape; a little more metal.

AVERAGE SCORE

ALSO CONSIDER Supershape i.Speed ($1,150 with binding): Narrowest (68 mm) of the Supershapes, for ultimate hard-snow precision.

Stöckli Laser AX

VALUE SCORE 3.53 STRENGTHS #1 Stability at Speed, #1 Hard-Snow Integrity, #1 Quickness

MSRP $1,150 (with binding) DIMENSIONS 137-80-117 mm

RADIUS 14.1 m (170 cm)

Doubling down in the carver category, Head must have known it had winners. The new graphene layup was especially enjoyable in the narrower waist (see No. 1–ranked Supershape i.Rally), but testers admired the 80-waisted Titan nearly as much. Not quite as quick and reboundy as the 76-waisted Rally (and there are two even narrower Supershapes, including the 67-waisted über-carving Speed), the Titan offers a better platform for occasional offpiste and super-soft groomers, where narrow carvers can trench too deeply. Big, wide-footed guys who can bury an edge will be better served here. Gleason: “Absorbs terrain like a Hoover. Gentle engagement, strong hold, it begs to be turned way up on edge.” VALUE SCORE 3.19 STRENGTHS #3 Crud Performance, #3 Hard-Snow Integrity, #4 Playfulness

ALSO CONSIDER Any of the three narrower Supershapes (67, 72, and 76 mm) if you expect really hard snow.

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

57


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s

Blizzard, which has murdered with its bullthemed freeriders, shifts focus to a new line of unrepentant carvers, the Quattros. The flagship RX has a richly techy look, carbon and metal reinforcement, and full sidewalls, but it might be the least racy ski here. It’s quite happy looking for soft snow down the side of the trail. There’s power and accuracy, but never the kind that bruises your ego. Schiller: “A nice blend of light weight and reliable edge grip.” VALUE SCORE 2.56 STRENGTHS #6 Crud, #7 Forgiveness, #8 Rebound

ALSO CONSIDER Quattro RS ($1,320 with binding): Narrower (72 mm), quicker, and hard-snow-grippier.

58

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

AVG. SCORE

AVG. SCORE

MSRP $1,320 (with binding) DIMENSIONS 129-84-113 mm RADIUS 16 m (174 cm)

2.87

ALSO CONSIDER Pursuit 800 ($1,100 with binding): It does think it’s a race ski: 71-mm waist, two sheets, etc.

2.87

ALSO CONSIDER LX82 ($1,199 with binding): Lighter, more freeridey feel, with softer edge grip and a washier tail.

Nordica GT 80 Ti EVO

VALUE SCORE 4.20 STRENGTHS #1 Forgiveness, #2 Crud, #7 Balance

MSRP $999 (with binding) DIMENSIONS 130-80-110 mm RADIUS 15.5 m (174 cm) The GT 80 caused dissension. Some testers admired its versatility, thanks to its wide-ish, soft-snow-friendly waist. Others wanted more excitement from its flatsnow carving game. No one thought it was too much ski. It’s reinforced with a metal latticework that resists twisting without the weight of full sheets. It’s easy in and out of the turn, with a forgiving tail shape. Gleason: “Easygoing, predictable. Adjusts speed and varies turns easily.” VALUE SCORE 3.59 STRENGTHS #5 Crud, #7 Stability, #9 Balance

ALSO CONSIDER GT 84 Ti ($1,099 with binding): If versatility is the GT 80’s strength, the wider 84 offers even more.

Dynastar Speed Zone 12 Ti

2.89

Not a hip-dragger? Well, the updated Experience doesn’t try to be a race ski. There’s substance to it, and dampness, for good long-arc, flat-snow carving at high speeds, but the 84’s forte is realworld resort snow, bumps and all. It’s edgy underfoot, but its blunt, rockered tip is loose enough to roll through afternoon chop. Rossi tempers its carbon-fiber weave with basalt, so it’s never harsh. Rogan: “Mellower than the deep-trenchers; more player than charger.”

Blizzard Quattro RX

VALUE SCORE 2.29 STRENGTHS #4 Balance, #5 Hard Snow, #6 Stability

MSRP $700 DIMENSIONS 133-84-120 mm RADIUS 16 m (178 cm)

AVG. SCORE

Rossignol Experience 84 HD

The MX is a calm, supple, fully cambered almostmidfat that carves hardpack the way you expect a Kästle to but uses its width and flowy flex to tame off-piste conditions as well. The egg-shaped cutout works well to reduce swing weight. Full camber feels throwbackrefreshing, and the rebound isn’t harsh. It’s best for experts, but there’s an accessible side too. Elling: “Super-fun for firm-snow crankin’. Insanely quick but strong in long arcs too.”

2.94

MSRP $1,499 (with binding) DIMENSIONS 128-84-112 mm RADIUS 16.3 m (176 cm)

AVG. SCORE

AVG. SCORE

2.98

Kästle MX84

Groomed Snow MSRP $1,000 with binding DIMENSIONS 121-72-106 mm RADIUS 15 m (174 cm) Skis with spring-loaded rebound energy can be tricky to stay balanced on. Not the Speed Zone. It’s a slingshot and you’re the projectile, so prepare to be launched. It’s a racy ride that adores the fall line and loves short turns on hard snow but isn’t too edgy or heavy. Lighttouch testers were the biggest fans of this small, stout slicer and dicer. Elling: “Mad crazy arcs. Clean at any radius or speed. Acid-fueled madscientist scalpel skiing.” VALUE SCORE 2.89 STRENGTHS #1 Playfulness, #3 Quickness, #6 Forgiveness ALSO CONSIDER Speed Zone 16 Ti ($900 flat): A 13-meter (at 168 cm), 67-waisted slalom ski with premium race layup.


RTM 84

90+ YEARS OF ENGINEERING IN ONE UNPARALLELED SKI DESIGN.

With 3D.RIDGE construction, our WideRide XL binding system, extended Tip and Tail Rocker with camber underfoot, and UVO technology, the RTM 84 puts the skier in total control of the front side of the mountain. From hard snow to the occasional off-piste adventure, Völkl engineers have created the performance standard that you will feel and enjoy on every turn.

CONSTRUCTION Several Völkl 2016-17 models are powered by 3D.RIDGE. A raised central

RTM 86

RTM 84

ridge spans the length of the ski, reducing weight while maintaining the perfect pressure distribution and flex. Maneuverability and edge to edge transitions are enhanced, all the while maintaining Völkl’s signature stability and edge grip.

RTM 81

#SIMPLYVOLKL VOLKL.COM


What

Where

Waist Widths

Resilient Eastern rippers.

Carvey, midfat allmountain generalists.

Firm groomers, tight trees, gnarly zipperlines.

84–99 mm

TESTER Matt Schiller LOCATION Domingo, Deer Valley

Lean years are often followed by snowy ones. Be strong, keep a sense of humor, and prepare for anything with a ski that does it all. 60

Kendo

BLIZZARD ROSSIGNOL SCOTT

The Ski

ATOMIC

Vantage 90 Cti

3.51

3.86

3.63

n O Im vera pre ll ss io

3.68

Ba Sk lanc ills e of

an ce Ha r Int d-S eg no rit w y

s es

ss

3.83

Pla y fu lne

3.99

Flo tat ion 3.56

Cr Pe ud rfo rm

Monster 88

VÖLKL

3.79

Fo rgi ve n

HEAD

185, 193

Q Buuickn mp es s s/

Enforcer 93

St at abili Sp t y ee d

NORDICA

Av S c er a g ore e

2017 Men’s Mixed Snow East Gold Medal Winners

Te Le s t ng th( s)

men’s

Mixed Snow east

Buyers Guide 2017

Who

3.99

4.11

177

3.74

3.24

4.20

3.81

3.25

3.00

4.06

4.06

3.95

4.06

177, 184

3.62

2.65

4.11

3.54

3.68

3.20

3.70

4.11

3.80

3.80

Brahma

180, 187

3.56

2.89

3.98

3.71

3.80

2.85

3.84

3.40

3.71

3.84

Experience 88 HD

180, 188

3.18

2.41

3.56

3.29

3.25

3.13

3.14

3.44

3.13

3.25

180

3.17

2.86

3.60

3.14

3.25

3.00

3.08

3.05

3.16

3.43

184

3.15

3.17

2.76

3.21

3.80

3.47

2.94

2.43

3.37

3.19

SALOMON

QST 99

181, 188

3.14

3.66

2.64

3.74

3.55

3.31

2.93

2.38

2.86

3.18

KÄSTLE

MX89

172, 180

3.12

2.69

4.13

2.70

2.73

2.16

3.58

3.99

2.91

3.16

STÖCKLI

Stormrider 95

174, 183

3.11

3.20

3.74

2.77

2.46

2.26

3.51

3.61

3.10

3.37

K2

Pinnacle 88

177, 184

3.10

3.41

2.55

3.38

3.43

3.58

2.98

2.30

3.15

3.13

ELAN

Amphibio 84 XTi

176

3.08

2.54

3.14

3.68

3.56

3.16

2.56

2.90

3.05

3.16

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


Only its big brother, the Enforcer 100, put up a higher average score in the test, and no ski scored higher in Overall Impression. The new 93 lets Easterners in on the Enforcer fun with a waist width better suited to harder snow and tighter trees. There’s no gimmicky technology story here; just a straightahead wood-core, two-sheets, full-sidewall laminate layup. The key is a simple combination of shape, camber/rocker profile, and flex, plus whatever Austrian pixie dust hangs in the air at Nordica’s Mittersill factory. Supple, quick, powerful—but easy to ski and easy to stay on top of. Testers said it’s a ski that makes you a better skier. Date: “Initiates with ease, stable at speed. Crushes powder, crud, and groomed. Well balanced and well weighted.”

HEAD Monster 88

RADIUS 16.5 m (177 cm)

3.74

DIMENSIONS 126-93-114 mm

AVERAGE SCORE

Nordica Enforcer 93 3.79

AVERAGE SCORE

MSRP $749

MSRP $800 DIMENSIONS 133-88-114 mm

RADIUS 17.4 m (177 cm)

Can graphene cure cancer? Make it snow in New Hampshire? Find your keys? Testers wouldn’t be surprised. Generally they’re immune to marketing hype, but something got into all the Heads this year. The spiel: Graphene, a Nobel Prize–winning, super-thin, superstrong laminate (“one molecule thick”), allows “a completely different construction” of Head’s high-performance skis. The result: A transformed Monster, damp and stable and quiet as before, but with a new agility and playfulness. Only two other skis in the test topped its Overall Impression score, though not by much, and one was another graphene-infused Head. Gleason: “Does everything well. Holds with strength, lights up like fireworks in quick turns. Begs to be pushed.” VALUE SCORE 4.68 STRENGTHS #1 Stability at Speed, #1 Crud Performance, #2 Hard-Snow Integrity

DIMENSIONS 127-90-110 mm

RADIUS 20.8 m (177 cm)

Völkl delivered a slightly kinder, slashier version of the venerable Kendo last year, and the German brand wisely brings it back unchanged this year. Testers again admired its blend of go-fast stability and go-anywhere versatility. A burly, full-metal, fullsidewall, wood-core layup gives it the dampness, power, and accuracy you expect from a Kendo. A touch of taper in the tip and tail gives it an ease and quickness that pleasantly surprise. Its long sidecut radius loves GS arcs at high speed but doesn’t insist on them. Its skill set, like its flex, is as well balanced as any in the category. Larsen: “Easy to engage, but plenty of strength to rip it around. Lots of fun to run on groomed, but definitely still has offtrail ability.” VALUE SCORE 4.39 STRENGTHS #1 Hard-Snow Integrity, #3 Stability at Speed, #3 Balance of Skills

ALSO CONSIDER 90Eight ($775): Slashier, lighter, less directional, No. 3 last year. (But testers still prefer the Kendo, so...)

3.56

Blizzard Brahma

MSRP $825

AVERAGE SCORE

3.62

ALSO CONSIDER All Monsters are built the same, so pick your width: 108 ($800), 98 ($800), or 83 ($700).

AVERAGE SCORE

ALSO CONSIDER Enforcer 100 (see Mixed Snow West): Too wide for the East? No way. Top ski in test last year and this year.

Völkl Kendo

VALUE SCORE 5.06 STRENGTHS #1 Quickness/Bumps, #1 Balance of Skills, #2 Crud Performance

MSRP $780 DIMENSIONS 125-88-110 mm

RADIUS RADIUS 19 m (180 cm) 19 m (182 cm)

Four skis stand out at the top of the Mixed Snow East category rankings, head and shoulders above the rest, and the Brahma, a returning tester favorite (No. 1 in the category last year), was one of them. Plenty of bark-eating Eastern rippers have loved the wider, name-taking Bonafide, but the Brahma—identically constructed but with a slightly carvier sidecut—is winning converts with thrilling, intuitive performance. It’s quick, it loves to attack aggressively, and its poppy rebound energy is tops in the category. But it’s easy to balance on and dumps speed readily in those “Oh, shit” moments. Date: “Even, well-balanced flex. Easy to point into the turn, easy to release, but not overly forgiving. It’s still a driver.” VALUE SCORE 4.56 STRENGTHS #1 Playfulness, #3 Crud Performance, #4 Balance of Skills

ALSO CONSIDER Bonafide ($840): A wider ride for those who never miss a powder day at Stowe.

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

61


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s

Atomic Vantage 90 Cti

The No. 6 result for The Ski is the highest testers can remember. And look at its No. 5 for Overall Impression: That beats a lot of big-name brands. Testers still aren’t wild about the name but like the way The Ski skis: supple and terrain-huggingly damp; soft longitudinally but stiff torsionally and laterally, for reassuring edginess. It hooks up readily, loves to carve. Elling: “OK, I’m a believer. Scott’s in the game now. Such an able ripper. Round and juicy.”

3.15

MSRP $650 DIMENSIONS 131-92-121 mm RADIUS 18 m (180 cm)

AVG. SCORE

Scott The Ski

3.17

A longtime tester favorite gets an update for 2017. The new HD-version Experience models, like Rossi’s super-popular 7 Series skis, feature a new reinforcement laminate that blends strong, snappy carbon with mellow, damp basalt fiber. The new Experience 88 still specializes—perhaps more than ever—in long, high-speed arcs, with edge grip that belies its width and a smooth, quiet ride. Rogan: “A great ski for this category.”

AVG. SCORE

MSRP $800 DIMENSIONS 135-88-124 mm RADIUS 17 m (180 cm)

There’s plenty of life to the Vantage 90—testers loved its energy and rebound—but it’s easy to stay balanced over. It’s quick—credit the carbonrich reinforcement. And it’s a capable carver on hardpack—there’s metal, but it’s tapered to keep things light and manageable. It’s as slashy and smeary as anything in the category, less edgy than most, never hard to handle. Casey: “More a player than a charger, but still plenty of oomph.” VALUE SCORE 4.34 STRENGTHS #2 Playfulness, #3 Forgiveness, #7 Flotation

VALUE SCORE 4.88 STRENGTHS #6 Balance, #7 Stability, #8 Hard Snow

Stöckli Stormrider 95

VALUE SCORE 4.33 STRENGTHS #1 Flotation, #3 Quickness, #4 Forgiveness ALSO CONSIDER QST 92 ($600): Lighter, less expensive, still gutsy enough to grab a Value-category medal (November issue).

62

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

MSRP $1,299 DIMENSIONS 129-89-113 mm RADIUS 18 m (180 cm) The MX is built for power, speed, and edge hold, with a damp, quiet smoothness that instills confidence on the hard stuff and begs for gas. Just be sure you’re ready to keep up. The big guys liked it most; light-touch testers liked what it could do if they drove it hard. Everyone admired the way it nuked through piles of afternoon crud. Larsen: “Lacks playfulness, but makes up for that in strength and dampness. Should come with a seat belt.” VALUE SCORE 2.40 STRENGTHS #2 Stability, #3 Hard Snow, #5 Crud

ALSO CONSIDER LX82 ($1,079 with binding): Lighter, more freeridey feel, with softer edge grip and a washier tail.

AVG. SCORE

The new QST 99 knows what it wants to be, which is not one of those stiff, edgy midfats that thinks it’s a race ski. It’s a lover, not a fighter, more interested in creativity than speed, more interested soft snow than hard. The best floater in the category, it’s a smeary, easy-to-pivot slasher at heart. Bumps? Bring ’em (long as they’re soft). But can Pats fans abide the Bronco colors? Casey: “A versatile explorer for soft days in the East.”

AVG. SCORE

AVG. SCORE

MSRP $725 DIMENSIONS 138-99-120 mm RADIUS 19.4 m (181 cm)

3.11

ALSO CONSIDER Vantage 95 C ($600): A wider waist; and with no metal it’s livelier, more forgiving, and less expensive.

3.12

ALSO CONSIDER The 100-mm Sage ($650), another winner for Scott this year (see Mixed Snow West).

3.14

ALSO CONSIDER Experience 84 HD ($700): A little lighter and livelier, with a quicker and even carvier waist width.

Kästle MX89

VALUE SCORE 4.24 STRENGTHS #6 Hard Snow, #8 Stability, #8 Crud

MSRP $725 DIMENSIONS 133.5-90-117 mm RADIUS 17.8 m (184 cm)

Salomon QST 99

AVG. SCORE

3.18

Rossignol Experience 88 HD

Mixed Snow east

MSRP $1,099 DIMENSIONS 131-95-120 mm RADIUS 19.2 m (183 cm) Testers had to ding the Stormrider 95 for lacking forgiveness (it pretty much demands capable skiing) and quickness (its 95-mm waist feels like all that). But while it isn’t particularly easy to ski, it’s a blast at high speeds, with plenty of edge power and carveability. Plus it’s an excellent floater in morning powder with unshakable stability for afternoon crud. Elling: “Great shovel dampness for mowing down piles and staying on top of it all. Drivey and strong.” VALUE SCORE 2.83 STRENGTHS #6 Flotation, #6 Stability, #6 Crud

ALSO CONSIDER Stormrider 97 ($1,099): A new, lighter-weight Storm for backcountry adventure.


AVG. SCORE

3.10

K2 Pinnacle 88

For Skier’s Edge Owners Cool new accessory! MSRP $800

Take yourself and your Skier’s Edge to the next level.

DIMENSIONS 128-88-110 mm RADIUS 15 m (184 cm) Linebacker types will want more ski, but the Pinnacle is happy to give up points in the power criteria. It specializes in fun, ease, and soft-snow flotation, and you don’t have to be a brute to bend it. The light-touch guys loved it, and even the bruisers admitted it’s got spirit. Everyone agreed it’s a great fit for would-be rippers looking for an ego boost. Date: “Just easy to ski. Does everything well. Loves bumps and soft smushy turns.”

Skier’s Edge

Skier’s Edge With Natural Slope

(without slope)

VALUE SCORE 3.88 STRENGTHS #1 Forgiveness, #4 Flotation, #7 Balance

AVG. SCORE

3.08

ELAN Amphibio 84 XTi

ALSO CONSIDER iKonic 85Ti ($900): Similar width with an all-wood core and a stronger tail.

MSRP $800 DIMENSIONS 131-84-112 mm RADIUS 17.1 m (176 cm) If you’re just gonna skid around, fine; the Amphibio has a forgiving nature. But that would be a waste of its crisp carving talents. Amphibio skis, remember, are left/right dedicated, with camber on the inside edge and tip rocker on the outside, so that the downhill ski is always knifey, the inside ski smeary. It’s a subtle effect, testers said, but they love the way it rails on groomers. Date: “Both aggressive and playful. Snappy, easy to initiate.”

Natural Slope™ “Get out of your backseat!” has probably echoed up the slope at some point in your skiing career. Whether an experienced or beginner skier – leaning back is probably the most common mistake. With the Natural Slope you’ll get dynamic balance while training in an aggressive forward position.

VALUE SCORE 3.85 STRENGTHS #5 Quickness, #7 Playfulness, #7 Forgiveness ALSO CONSIDER Amphibio 88 XTi ($800): A little wider and heavier, with an all-wood core.

Increases intensity of leg workout.

Keeps your weight over the middle of your skis giving you more control.

Increases core engagement.

Muscle memory that transfers to the slopes.

30-day trial

For a FREE DVD and Buyer’s Guide, Call

800-225-9669 EXT:1217 www.SkiersEdge.com

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

63

© 2016 The Skier’s Edge® Company Park City, Utah • 801-975-8100


What

Where

Waist Widths

Spoiled-rotten Westerners who think ice is for hockey players.

Generous widths for soft-snow fun and deepday surfing.

The Rockies, Sierra, Selkirks, etc.

95–108 mm

Another sunny day in ski paradise, where soft snow is the norm and deep stuff is just a storm cycle away. 64

4.21

3.96

4.21

Cr Pe ud rfo rm

es Fo rgi ve n

n

3.86

O Im vera pre ll ss io

an ce Ha r Int d-S eg no rit w y

4.19

s

3.94

ss

4.23

Pla y fu lne

3.86

Q Bu uickn mp e s s s/

4.06

Flo tat ion

185, 193

Av S c er a g ore e

St at abili Sp t y ee d

NORDICA

Te Le s t ng th( s)

Enforcer 100

2017 Men’s Mixed Snow West Gold Medal Winners

Ba Sk lanc ills e of

TESTER Luke Larsen LOCATION Daly Bowl, Deer Valley

men’s

Mixed Snow west

Buyers Guide 2017

Who

4.04

BLIZZARD

Bonafide

180, 187

3.65

3.03

4.20

3.70

3.81

2.96

3.85

4.09

3.41

3.81

VÖLKL

100Eight

181, 189

3.47

4.13

3.54

3.10

3.25

3.1

3.81

3.18

3.40

3.69

HEAD

Monster 98

177

3.45

2.88

4.13

3.43

2.85

2.84

3.73

4.00

3.53

3.73

ROSSIGNOL

Soul 7 HD

180, 188

3.44

3.83

2.75

3.86

4.13

4.00

3.14

2.29

3.25

3.70

SALOMON

QST 106

181, 188

3.43

3.99

3.04

3.00

3.81

3.83

3.37

2.74

3.53

3.54

SCOTT

Sage

178, 188

3.34

3.30

3.43

3.29

3.43

3.63

3.30

3.29

3.14

3.29

ATOMIC

Vantage 100 CTi

180, 188

3.33

3.21

3.26

3.49

3.60

3.50

3.16

3.00

3.26

3.51

VÖLKL

Mantra

177, 184

3.30

3.16

3.34

3.26

3.01

3.13

3.56

3.46

3.45

3.31

WAGNER

Harry Dunne

182

3.29

3.40

2.87

3.55

3.72

3.72

2.87

2.70

3.23

3.55

DYNASTAR

Cham 2.0 107

183

3.17

3.56

3.18

3.10

2.80

3.11

3.60

2.78

3.11

3.29

ARMADA

Invictus 99 Ti

179, 187

3.16

2.98

2.73

3.89

3.89

3.46

2.73

2.59

3.16

3.00

K2

Pinnacle 95

184

3.15

3.65

2.85

3.26

3.30

3.43

3.11

2.74

3.03

2.99

ELAN

Ripstick 96

181

3.14

2.99

3.25

3.49

3.33

3.33

2.59

3.03

3.03

3.26

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


Mostly what the Enforcer is is hard to find—either in ski shops, because it sold out so quickly, or in the rack at the test, because someone was always out hogging extra runs on it. No. 1—by a lot—for the second straight year, it’s likely to remain elusive. Again, testers unanimously and emphatically applauded the Enforcer’s freakish versatility. There’s no secret in the layup, which is as straightforward as it gets (wood core, two sheets of metal, full sidewalls). That leaves the shape, which is the perfect blend of camber, rocker, flex, and sidecut for crushing anything. Maybe best of all, it lets anyone in on the fun; you don’t have to be a ripper. Gleason: “The best of modern shape combined with proven materials. Strong yet easy. A standout.”

Blizzard Bonafide

RADIUS 16.5 m (177 cm)

3.65

DIMENSIONS 133-100-121 mm

AVERAGE SCORE

Nordica Enforcer 100 4.06

AVERAGE SCORE

MSRP $799

No surprise that the widest ski in the category was the best floater in deep snow. What’s surprising is how good a flat-snow carver the 100Eight is. Völkl’s 3D Ridge construction—thick down the middle, for powder, but thin over the edges, to save weight—looks like it might give up some edge power and stability on hardpack. It doesn’t. Still, powder, crud, and off-piste terrain are its specialties. Tip rocker and a tapered shape keep it loose and surfy, easy to foot-steer. And testers wondered why you’d need anything wider, given how buoyant it is in deep stuff. It’s not the quickest or most forgiving in the bunch, but that won’t bother Völkl fans and strong skiers. Casey: “Unflappable. Smooth and precise from edge to edge.” VALUE SCORE 4.21 STRENGTHS #1 Flotation, #3 Crud Performance, #6 Balance of Skills

ALSO CONSIDER The 90Eight ($775): Same construction on a slimmer, edgier waist width.

3.45

RADIUS 22 m (181 cm)

HEAD Monster 98

DIMENSIONS 141-108-124 mm

RADIUS 21 m (180 cm)

Blizzard launches a new line of narrowwaisted carvers this year, called Quattro (see Groomed Snow). But it’s hard to imagine needing better hardpack performance than that offered by the Bonafide, which remains the test team’s favorite Blizzard. A longtime multitool contender and former winner of the Mixed Snow West category, the Bonafide could easily meet the needs of Eastern rippers as well, thanks to its sturdy construction, unshakable edge grip, and speed-loving personality. Testers warn that it’s not the most forgiving or buoyant ski in the category, but guys who know how to set an edge will love its power and security. Schiller: “Not too stiff, not too soft; exceptional stability and edge hold at speed.”

ALSO CONSIDER The metal-free, twin-tipped Peacemaker ($720) for a looser, lighter, livelier ride.

AVERAGE SCORE

3.47

Völkl 100Eight AVERAGE SCORE

MSRP $825

DIMENSIONS 133-98-118 mm

VALUE SCORE 4.35 STRENGTHS #1 Hard-Snow Integrity, #2 Stability at Speed, #2 Crud Performance

VALUE SCORE 5.08 STRENGTHS #1 Stability at Speed, #1 Crud Performance, #1 Balance of Skills ALSO CONSIDER The new Enforcer 93 (see Mixed Snow East): Quicker to edge and even carvier on hard snow.

MSRP $840

MSRP $800 DIMENSIONS 135-98-120 mm

RADIUS 21.3 m (177 cm)

Maybe you’ve noticed that the top three skis in the category are exactly the same, in exactly the same order, this year as they were last year. Well, here’s a newcomer. The Monster 98 didn’t even make the medals a year ago. Great Stability and Hard Snow scores, but that was it. This year, it’s No. 2 for Balance of Skills, No. 3 for Overall Impression. The difference is graphene, a new super-thin, super-strong laminate with apparently miraculous properties. The stability and edge grip are still there, but there’s a new liveliness and a more supple attack in crud. It’s lighter but not the least bit flighty—a neat trick. Date: “Carve or smear, it’s got a smooth even flex throughout the turn. Nimble yet strong and stable.” VALUE SCORE 4.31 STRENGTHS #2 Hard-Snow Integrity, #2(T) Balance of Skills, #3 Stability at Speed

ALSO CONSIDER Monster 108 ($800; see Men’s Deep Snow): Same construction on a wider waist.

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

65


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s

Salomon’s QST line debuts to high praise. The 106—one of the wider skis tested—puts up its highest scores in powder. The wood core is carbonreinforced, but Salomon tapers the core tip and tail, replacing the wood there with a honeycomb of air pockets. And the carbon is tempered by flax, so it’s not brittle. It’s smeary in soft snow but a pretty snappy carver as well. Date: “Can be skied flat and jibby, but it’s solid on edge too.”

Scott Sage

3.34

MSRP MSRP $850 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 140-106-126 mm RADIUS 20 m (181 cm)

AVG. SCORE

Salomon QST 106

Chances are you already own it. The Soul is the top-selling ski in the U.S. With its supremely surfy/ slashy/easy performance in powder, it changed the way we ski powder and forced competitors to copy its tapered shape. For experts who wanted more stability, Rossi responded with a new reinforcement layer that mixes strong, light carbon with vibration-damping basalt fiber. Larsen: “The added stiffness makes a difference.”

3.43

MSRP MSRP $850 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 136-106-126 mm RADIUS 17 m (180 cm)

AVG. SCORE

AVG. SCORE

3.44

Rossignol Soul 7 HD

Mixed Snow west

VALUE SCORE 4.04 STRENGTHS #2 Flotation, #2(T) Balance, #3 Forgiveness

The Sage pleased testers with its combination of reliable hard-snow game and overall ease of use, two qualities that are usually opposing. Its arched topsheet gives it a slimmer. lighter profile. Testers also noticed how its lower sidewalls kept it from feeling overly edgy in soft snow. It hooks up and rails when you want it to but never feels difficult. Larsen: “Fun, snappy, and quick, with great on-trail skills and a very wide ability range.”

Wagner Harry Dunne

VALUE SCORE 3.92 STRENGTHS #6 Forgiveness, #6(T) Quickness, #7 Balance

ALSO CONSIDER The new Backland FR 109 ($725): Wider and more buoyant, but even lighter, for touring ease.

66

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

AVG. SCORE

Lightweight quickness and agility are hallmarks of the Vantage 100’s performance, but never the kind of quickness that borders on flightiness. The light-touch guys were its biggest fans. Everyone agreed it shines brightest in soft snow and off-trail, where it’s easy to throw around, easy to stay balanced over, and ready to attack in tight, steep trees. Gleason: “A light and nimble feel crossbred with a smooth underlying structure.”

MSRP MSRP $875 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 132-100-118 mm RADIUS 23.7 m (177 cm) It might be the most decorated ski in test history. And while it’s been somewhat eclipsed by the newer, surfier 90Eight, it’s still a favorite. The ex-racers admire its metal-damp, velvet-gloved power on hardpack, where it loves to arc. Yet there’s no corresponding sluggishness off-piste, where it plows through afternoon crud without feeling heavy or exhausting. Date: “Drives like an Audi. Precise, reliable, comfortable.” VALUE SCORE 3.77 STRENGTHS #4 Balance, #6 Crud, #8 Stability

ALSO CONSIDER The 90Eight ($775): Metal-free for a lighter, livelier feel (and $100 less).

AVG. SCORE

AVG. SCORE

MSRP MSRP $850 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 138-100-125 mm RADIUS 18 m (180 cm)

3.29

ALSO CONSIDER The Ski ($650): A little narrower (92 mm), quicker, and carvier (see Mixed Snow East).

3.30

ALSO CONSIDER QST 99 ($725): A little less rocker, stronger tip and tail for more directional performance.

3.33

ALSO CONSIDER Super 7 HD ($900): Still the testers’ favorite powder ski (see Men’s Deep Snow).

Völkl Mantra

VALUE SCORE 5.14 STRENGTHS #5 Forgiveness, #7 Hard Snow, #7 Stability

Atomic Vantage 100 CTi

VALUE SCORE 4.05 STRENGTHS #1 Forgiveness, #2 Playfulness, #3 Quickness/Bumps

MSRP MSRP $650 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 139-100-129 mm RADIUS 18 m (178 cm)

MSRP MSRP $1,995 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 138-100-121 mm RADIUS 19.3 m (182 cm) Indie brands have had a hard time competing in the test against the big guys’ experience and resources. Wagner made it look easy, medaling with two of four models we invited. It specializes in custom skis: Tell them who you are and how and where you ski; they’ll make a ski to match. Our generic model, with its 100-mm waist, performed with poise— energetic yet easy. Elling: “Takes everything you throw at it.” VALUE SCORE 1.65 STRENGTHS #4 Forgiveness, #5 Quickness, #6 Playfulness

ALSO CONSIDER Anything you can imagine, built to your specs, right down to the topsheet graphic ($1,750 to $2,500).


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s

VALUE SCORE 3.96 STRENGTHS #5 Crud, #6 Flotation, #11 Stability

AVG. SCORE

3.14

ELAN Ripstick 96

ALSO CONSIDER Cham 2.0 97 ($700): Narrower, quicker, less expensive, and a shade more forgiving.

MSRP MSRP $700 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 134-96-113 mm RADIUS 18 m (181 cm) Elan brings back the awesome Ripstick name for a new series of midfats that testers admired. This narrowest Ripstick is compact, light, and quick, with an arc-ready hardsnow game. It’s left/right dedicated, with full camber on the working edge and smeary rocker on the uphill edge. The effect is subtle, but there’s no mistaking the Ripstick’s enthusiasm for medium arcs in soft snow. Rogan: “Stable for a lighter ski. Grippy for a wider ski.” VALUE SCORE 4.49 STRENGTHS #6(T) Quickness, #9 Playfulness, #9 Forgiveness

ALSO CONSIDER Ripstick 106 ($800): Wider,

more buoyant, just as carvy—an even better Western-snow daily driver?

68

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

VALUE SCORE 3.83 STRENGTHS #2 Quickness, #3 Playfulness, #7 Forgiveness ALSO CONSIDER Invictus 95 ($600): Similarly lively and responsive; a winner in the Value category.

K2 Pinnacle 95

Armada’s always had the brand image thing down, along with fearlessly unconventional new-school designs. The Invictuses— plenty cool, but more conventional—are what finally broke through with testers. The Armada flavor and attitude are there, along with thoroughly polished performance. The 99 carves, smears, and floats with an energy and quickness testers loved. Rogan: “Awesomely light and quick. Dances through tight spots.”

3.15

MSRP MSRP $825 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 133-98-123 mm RADIUS 20.5 m (179 cm)

AVG. SCORE

Armada Invictus 99 Ti

If soft crud and powder bring out the long-turn charger in you, climb on the Cham. With its broad tip, its deep-snow flotation is automatic, while its narrow tail and low rebound make it greedy for vertical: It wants to go down the hill. The Cham skims crud with a supple dampness that lets you open it up without getting tossed around. Elling: “Not the quickest whip in the bunch, but if your area blows in smooth on a regular basis, this is your do-it-all ride.”

3.16

MSRP MSRP $800 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 137-107-122 mm RADIUS 18 m (183 cm)

AVG. SCORE

AVG. SCORE

3.17

Dynastar Cham 2.0 107

Mixed Snow west MSRP MSRP $900 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 132-95-115 mm RADIUS 17 m (184 cm) In its Nanolite skis, K2 lightens the core with foam down the middle but still uses wood over the edges for edge power and durability. The Pinnacle 95 isn’t built to hammer at high speeds and power through crud. But bring a light-touch attack to it and it responds with enjoyably fun, forgiving, easygoing performance. Slacking on your workouts? It makes you look like you’re not. Date: “Great for the 20days guy. Super easy, yet surprisingly stable.” VALUE SCORE 3.50 STRENGTHS #5 Flotation, #8 Forgiveness, #10 Playfulness ALSO CONSIDER Poacher ($600): Same width and float; looser, jibbier personality; a Value category winner (November issue).

How We Test Behind the data: rigor and candor. The process begins in January, when we invite manufacturers to submit appropriate models for our categories. Bigger brands are allowed more entries, as are those that fared well the previous year. The goal is to focus on skis that are widely available and likely to be good. On the hill, we dedicate a day to each category, occasionally two days for a big group. Testers make at least one run on every ski, writing their scores and notes on the lift between runs. The test card prompts them to grade skis from 1 to 5 on nine criteria. Skis are ranked by the average of their scores in all criteria. It should go without saying, but there’s no correlation between a brand’s ad budget and its test results. We expect our testers to be honest and unbiased, to keep an open mind, and to hold nothing back.

Men’s Test Team TODD CASEY Veteran Copper Mountain instructor; UMaine Farmington ski-industry program grad; salty New Hampshire seaman JOE CUTTS Test director; SKI Magazine deputy editor; smug Vermonter; disgraced Cochran’s Ski Area snowmaker RITCHIE DATE FIS freestyle technical delegate (Sochi, Fenway...); token Aussie; PC local; rookie tester MARK ELLING Boot-test coordinator; Mt. Bachelor bootfitter; test-card pornographer BOB GLEASON Owner, chief boot guru, BootDoctors, Telluride; 2015 ski-test MVP; costume consultant

LUKE LARSEN Co-owner, Lifthouse ski shop, Salt Lake City; ex–skicross competitor; sober, intelligent, gracious…yet still fits right in on the test team NATE MILLER Veteran ski-test binding tech…still hasn’t killed anyone; 2016 MVP; and we’ve never seen him ski; what’s up with that? MIKE ROGAN SKI Mag instruction director; U.S. Ski Team coach; operations manager, Portillo; roughly 400-day-a-year skier; official rookie hazer MATT SCHILLER Owner, Park City Boot Room; former U.S. Ski Team equipment manager and ski-industry race/promotions veteran; “Mini Rogan”


TESTER Mike Rogan LOCATION Domingo, Deer Valley

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

69


What

Where

Waist Widths

Anyone lucky enough to see deep snow in their future.

Deepest-day floaters and surfers with powder widths and rocker.

Little Cottonwood, Tahoe, interior B.C. Knee-deep or better.

108–118 mm

TESTER Todd Casey LOCATION Daly Trees, Deer Valley

70

n O Im vera pre ll ss io

Ba Sk lanc ills e of

an ce Ha r Int d-S eg no rit w y

s

Super 7 HD

188, 180

3.47

4.38

2.99

3.89

4.25

3.75

2.74

1.91

3.51

3.81

Patron

185, 193

3.40

3.41

3.58

3.58

3.83

3.31

3.69

1.76

3.61

3.85

HEAD

Monster 108

177

3.32

3.05

4.25

3.59

2.79

2.86

3.73

2.46

3.44

3.73

Cr Pe ud rfo rm

Fo rgi ve n

es

ss

ROSSIGNOL NORDICA

Gold Medal Winners

Flo tat ion

Pla y fu lne

Q Bu uickn mp e s s s/

St at abili Sp t y ee d

Av S c er a g ore e

The extreme fats have left the building. Most brands think less corpulent waists offer plenty of flotation in powder without feeling planky.

2017 Men’s Deep Snow

Te Le s t ng th( s)

men’s

Deep Snow

Buyers Guide 2017

Who

VÖLKL

Confession

186

3.26

3.98

3.84

3.34

2.94

2.93

3.59

1.94

3.19

3.61

K2

Pinnacle 118

184

3.20

4.11

2.88

3.28

3.80

3.38

3.20

1.81

3.04

3.30

DYNASTAR

Cham 2.0 117

BLIZZARD

Cochise

180

3.19

3.77

3.13

3.43

3.45

3.43

3.25

1.65

3.08

3.47

185, 192

3.19

2.93

3.85

3.30

2.89

2.78

3.85

2.64

3.19

3.34

WAGNER

Lloyd Christmas

183

3.09

4.23

2.53

3.10

3.57

3.60

3.00

1.56

2.94

3.27

SALOMON

QST 118

185, 192

2.96

4.11

2.55

3.29

3.55

2.76

2.71

1.43

2.78

3.44

FISCHER

Ranger 108 Ti

182, 188

2.80

2.78

3.18

2.85

2.84

2.89

2.96

2.11

2.65

2.93

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


It’s back on top. Must be the fiber. Though Rossignol’s famous 7 Series has continued to sell like crazy, the Super 7 hasn’t been No. 1 in the Deep Snow category since 2013–14. Everyone loved its sensationally slashy, quick-pivoting ease, but experts wanted more oomph, which Rossi gave it this year. The new 7 HD models are buttressed with a layer of strong carbon fibers woven with vibrationdamping basalt. The Super 7 still succeeds more in its playfulness than its power—and still gets tossed around a bit at high speeds in deep crud. But now there’s more high end in the blend: See its No. 1 in Playfulness. Even picky Rogan was impressed: “Stronger than in years past. It’s always hard to make good better, but they did it.”

Nordica Patron

RADIUS 20 m (188 cm)

3.40

DIMENSIONS 140-116-130 mm

AVERAGE SCORE

Rossignol Super 7 HD 3.47

AVERAGE SCORE

MSRP $900

MSRP $849 DIMENSIONS 143-113-135 mm

RADIUS 18.5 m (185 cm)

The blunt, low tip looks badass. And it seems to be the secret to the way the perennial champ Patron slices through rough stuff without a hint of tip flap or deflection. That and a strong, edgy construction give it the high-speed directional stability that hard-chargers will love, testers said. But the Patron likes to party too, and it’ll surprise you with its quickness and ease. Testers warn it doesn’t have quite the surfy flotation of others in the category, but they admired its blend of power and ease and gave it the top Overall Impression score in the category. Casey: “Smooth and stable in powder and crud. Rewards strong skiing but will tolerate the less skilled. Even flex throughout is really reassuring.” VALUE SCORE 4.00 STRENGTHS #1 Balance of Skills, #2 Playfulness, #3 Quickness/Bumps

DIMENSIONS 142-108-127 mm

RADIUS 23.5 m (177 cm)

Skis usually get to be either quick or stable at speed. The Monster 108 somehow manages to be both. Barely wide enough to qualify for the category, it’s certainly not a flotation specialist. Rather, it cements its spot in the Deep Snow category’s top three with an unusual blend of power and finesse. Its waist width never feels planky on hardpack. Its flat, unrockered tail loves to finish turns. But what’s most amazing is how a ski this light can put up the No. 1 ranking in Stability at Speed—and by a long shot. Head credits the graphene laminate (super thin, extraordinarily strong). Gleason: “A dynamic balance of stability and quickness. Charge hard and it delivers stable tranquility, yet the response in quick turns is energetic.” VALUE SCORE 4.15 STRENGTHS #1 Stability at Speed, #2 Quickness/Bumps, #2 Crud Performance

ALSO CONSIDER A-Star SW: A burly pro-level deep-powder freerider with a 118-mm waist.

3.26

Völkl Confession

MSRP $800

AVERAGE SCORE

3.32

ALSO CONSIDER Enforcer 100 ($799): Similarly beloved by testers; significantly narrower and edgier.

AVERAGE SCORE

ALSO CONSIDER Super 7 RD ($900): Pro-level version built for long turns and high speeds.

HEAD Monster 108

VALUE SCORE 3.86 STRENGTHS #1 Flotation, #1 Quickness/ Bumps, #1 Playfulness

MSRP $875 DIMENSIONS 144-117-133 mm

RADIUS RADIUS 23.8 m (186 cm) 19 m (182 cm)

Völkl makes wide, slashy surfers that are loose in the snow (e.g. the One and Two), but this isn’t one of them. The Confession takes over where the retiring Shiro left off, with strong, locked-in performance for guys who like to put the hammer down in deep snow. There’s rocker at both ends and a little bit of slashy taper in the tip. But the Confession is built to be unrepentantly directional. There’s metal in the layup for stability—a single band down the middle, rather than two sheets—plus a layer of light, snappy carbon for power and rebound energy. Go ahead, confess your sins, but don’t expect forgiveness. Elling: “A full-throttle big-mountain charger. Better know how to stand on it, or it’ll expose your weaknesses.” VALUE SCORE 3.73 STRENGTHS #3 Stability at Speed, #4 Crud Performance, #4(T) Balance of Skills

ALSO CONSIDER The One ($775): Same width, but with more taper, more rocker, more slash.

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

71


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s

Blizzard Cochise

3.19

Chams past were unforgiving beasts adored by aggressive experts. But with a lighter-weight paulownia wood core and a tapered sidecut, it’s suddenly one of the more forgiving Deep Snow skis. There’s still plenty of power and heft under the topsheet, along with the hard-snow edginess of full, vertical sidewalls. Now there’s a better balance of stability and quickness. Date: “Solid yet nimble. Good blend of carving and surfing.” VALUE SCORE 3.75 STRENGTHS #3 Forgiveness, #4 Quickness, #6 Playfulness

MSRP MSRP $900 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 136-108-122 mm RADIUS 27 m (185 cm) Testers kept referring to its versatility, but they didn’t mean the high- or low-speed kind. The Cochise is a go-fast ski that expects to be driven hard. What they meant: Deep days or everydays, it’s got game. It’s barely wide enough for Deep Snow qualification. Wood core, two sheets, classic Austrian vertical-sidewall layup…it’s a fat, rockered powder ski that thinks it’s a race ski. Larsen: “Shocking how versatile it is for a 108. And I threw everything at it.”

Fischer Ranger 108 Ti

VALUE SCORE 1.55 STRENGTHS #2 Flotation, #2 Forgiveness, #4 Playfulness ALSO CONSIDER N/A: It’s a custom brand. Whatever you want in a ski, Pete can probably build it.

72

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

MSRP MSRP $900 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 142-118-129 mm RADIUS 25.5 m (185 cm) It’s huge but never sluggish. Testers enjoyed the creativity of line choice and style the QST 118 inspires. An unapologetically specialized powder slasher, it’s powered by a wood core reinforced with strong carbon and mellow flax, but Salomon takes care to keep the tip and tail light, loose, and manageable. On hardpack days, let it sleep in. But it knows how to have fun in deep stuff. Gleason: “Loose, quick to pivot. Light tip is easy to direct.” VALUE SCORE 3.29 STRENGTHS #3(T) Flotation, #5 Playfulness, #8 Quickness

ALSO CONSIDER MTN Lab ($950): A 115mm waist and sturdier layup for Salomon’s freeride athletes.

AVG. SCORE

Having heard good things from reliable friends, we invited Pete Wagner to the test. He blends his skis in a solar-powered mad-scientist lab in the desert near Telluride, custom-tailoring them for their owners, who pay a lot: $1,750 and up. We asked for a generic sample, but there was nothing generic about our Lloyd Christmas’s soft-snow competence. Schiller: “Subtle, then snap: loads and pops. All under control.”

AVG. SCORE

AVG. SCORE

MSRP MSRP $1,995 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 153-118-139 mm RADIUS 19.4 m (183 cm)

2.80

ALSO CONSIDER Bodacious ($800): A wider, floatier width (118 mm) with a core lightened by foam stringers. Cheaper too.

2.96

ALSO CONSIDER Cham 2.0 107 ($800): Slightly more forgiving performance on a narrower, more versatile waist.

3.09

ALSO CONSIDER Pettitor ($900): Sean Pettit’s pro model. Similar width (115 mm) with a more freestyle feel.

Salomon QST 118

VALUE SCORE 3.54 STRENGTHS #1 Crud, #1 Hard Snow, #2 Stability

Wagner Lloyd Christmas

VALUE SCORE 3.20 STRENGTHS #3 Flotation, #3 Playfulness, #4 Forgiveness

MSRP MSRP $850 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 147-117-127 mm RADIUS 22 m (190 cm)

AVG. SCORE

Dynastar Cham 2.0 117

The Pinnacle 118 isn’t the biggest or baddest; it just wants to show you a good time when conditions are prime. A new lightweight construction—airy foam down the middle of the core, with wood over the edges—makes it one of the quickest, lightest 118s you’ll ever ski. Forgiving performance is its hallmark, but there’s some high-end snap to it too. The light-touch guys loved it. Casey: “A versatile powder player. Nice, balanced feel.”

3.19

MSRP MSRP $1,000 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 145-118-135 mm RADIUS 23 m (184 cm)

AVG. SCORE

AVG. SCORE

3.20

K2 Pinnacle 118

Deep Snow

MSRP MSRP $850 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 140-108-130 mm RADIUS 19 m (182 cm) The narrowest ski finished last in Flotation. But don’t write off the Ranger on powder days just yet. Fischer power and edginess are there, for great hardpack versatility, but there’s nothing locked-in about it when quick line changes are required. The wood core is channeled, the top surface rounded— both to save weight. And a light tip gives it easy-to-pivot quickness in powder. Elling: “Excels in soft snow. Pivot, scrub, carve, and pound at will.” VALUE SCORE 3.29 STRENGTHS #4 Hard Snow, #6 Stability, #10 Forgiveness

ALSO CONSIDER Ranger 122 ($900): Fischer’s true powder specialist, with full-throttle sandwich-sidewall construction.


´*UHDWPDFKLQH,XVHLWWRFRQGLWLRQIRU WKHPRQWKVOHDGLQJXSWRVNLVHDVRQDQG HVSHFLDOO\LQWKHZHHNVSULRUWRKHOLVNLLQJ DW0LNH:LHJHOH·VSODFH7KDWLVZKHUH, ÀUVWXVHGWKHSURGXFW,NQHZ,QHHGHGRQH ,FDOOHGWKHQH[WGD\μ 0)HUEHU.DPORRSV%&

“My endurance on bump runs has QHDUO\GRXEOHGDQG,·YHQRWLFHGD GHÀQLWHLPSURYHPHQWLQP\UK\WKP ZKLOHSRZGHUVNLLQJμ %*ROGHQ&2

Dramatically improve your skiing this VHDVRQ:LWKWKH6NLHU·V(GJH\RXJHW

Graham Bell 1 of only 3 Five-Time Alpine Olympians Leslie Bianchi Morrow Mother of 2 1st Ms. Fitness America 27 Years Ago - 1989

• Exceptional non-impact cardio workout. • Burn up to 1,540 calories per hour. • Edging, weight transfer, and muscle memory. • Balance and a quiet upper body. • Strong legs, hips, knees, ankles, and core. &RQÀGHQFHWRVNLDQ\UXQ • 30 day trial, 4/2 year warranty.

Bringing you excellence in skiing for over 30 years! $VNXVDERXWRXUQHZ%RRWPDVWHU0RGHO

Skiing at Your Best! TM

Expect Extraordinary! TM

The #1 Technical Ski Conditioner in the World®

EXCLUSIVE Official Supplier to the World’s Best Ski Teams®

For a FREE DVD and Buyer’s Guide, Call

800-225-9669 EXT:1215 SkiersEdge.com © 2015/2016 The Skier’s Edge® Company

Park City, Utah • 801-975-8100


QUALITY IS THE

DIFFERENCE It takes 10 days to build a pair of hand-crafted Stöckli skis. Our engineers handle each pair in 63 unique processes and it takes 25 more steps to properly finish a pair of our skis. Sure, we could do it faster, but then they wouldn’t be Stöckli’s. It’s why we are the fastest growing brand in the United States. And it’s why we are a hot item in racing. Since joining the US Ski Team as a supplier in 2014 6 racers have switched to Stöckli, including Julia Mancuso. The all new, award winning, championship driven, Laser X Series from Stöckli. Featuring Turtle Shell Technology – with adaptive torsional stiffness. Softer at lower speeds, with more edge grip and stability the more you push it.

So take a look. If you like to ski, you will feel the difference.

LASER SX 120/70/99

LASER CX 122/68/100

LASER AX 123/78/110

THE AWARD WINNING LASER SERIES


Buyers Guide 2017

Women’s skis

Go ahead, envy our testers. They spent five days at Deer Valley trying all the latest skis. (Like you couldn’t?) But trust them. Their favorite skis will yours be too, and they want you to have the best winter ever.

TESTER Erica Cunningham LOCATION Ontario Bowl, Deer Valley

PHOTOGRAPHS BY KERI BASCETTA

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

75


What

Where

Waist Widths

Women who know how to set an edge.

Deep-sidecut arc machines.

From Eastern ice to Western velvet.

72–81 mm

TESTER Kristi Brown LOCATION Stein’s Way, Deer Valley

76

Fo rgi ve n

2.01

3.59

3.61

3.50

3.76

2.51

3.63

3.24

3.50

3.09

1.59

3.54

3.31

3.46

3.21

2.61

3.65

3.29

3.15

VÖLKL

Flair 81

163

3.09

2.00

3.59

3.04

3.21

3.19

2.63

3.59

3.25

3.34

DYNASTAR

Intense 12

174

3.02

1.58

3.70

3.40

2.85

2.76

2.75

3.81

3.05

3.26

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

O Im vera pre ll ss io

Cr Pe ud rfo rm

es

ss

n

Pla y fu lne

3.26

167

Ba Sk lanc ills e of

Qu Bu ickn mp es s s/

163

Vantage X 80 CTi W

s

Flo tat ion

Super Joy

ATOMIC

St at abili Sp t y ee d

Av S c er a g ore e

HEAD

2017 Women’s Groomed Snow Gold Medal Winners

Te Le s t ng th( s)

A quiver ski for groomer days between storms or an everyday ski for women who stick to the corduroy. Whatever your needs, these narrowwaisted carvers are built for quickness and edge grip. Tip and rip.

an ce Ha r Int d-S eg no rit w y

women’s

Groomed snow

Buyers Guide 2017

Who


Head takes groomed-snow performance seriously, reckoning most skiers spend most of their time on-trail. In the Super Joy, it shows. But don’t mistake it for one of those heavy, edgy arc machines that tire you out before lunch. There’s high-end carving performance aplenty: deep autocarve sidecut, thrilling rebound energy, zippy quickness. But given how reassuring it is at speed, and how reliable it is at high edge angles, its ease is surprising. Feeling lazy? It’s content to cruise at moderate speeds until you find your warrior face. The Super returns unchanged—and $50 cheaper—but testers love it more than ever. After two years at No. 4, it finally nabs the top spot. Humes: “So light yet utterly solid. Great groomer ski for a wide range of abilities.”

Atomic Vantage X 80 CTi W

RADIUS 12.5 m (163 cm)

3.09

DIMENSIONS 128-75-108 mm

AVERAGE SCORE

HEAD Super Joy 3.26

AVERAGE SCORE

MSRP $875 with binding

MSRP $850 with binding DIMENSIONS 123.5-80-105 mm

RADIUS 14.4 m (166 cm)

In a category of hard-snow carving specialists, the 80-mm-wide Vantage X succeeds with its versatility. It holds its own on firm groomers and even ice, plenty ready to tip and rip for a skilled expert who knows how to use its sidecut. But it enthusiastically ventures off the groomed as well. It’s easy to stay on top of in chopped-up snow, with a playful demeanor that’s fun and energetic and never throws you off balance. Carbon fiber keeps it light; a little metal reinforcement gives it just enough heft for high-speed calm and stability. Testers loved the overall blend and the go-anywhere attitude. Barnes: “Handles many types of terrain like a champ. A very solidly performing ski in both big GS turns and short, quick ones.” VALUE SCORE 4.75 STRENGTHS #2 Balance of Skills, #2 Playfulness, #2 Hard-Snow Integrity

DIMENSIONS 128-81-109 mm

RADIUS 14.7 m (163 cm)

The Flair 81 is new, and it instantly took Völkl from No. 7 in the Groomed Snow rankings to a tie for second. Völkl uses its 3D Ridge construction to good effect here: Thick down the middle, thin over the edges, it’s noticeably light for a ski that loves speed so. But here’s a secret: Völkl entered last year’s Groomed Snow ski, the Yumi, in this year’s test as a Value-category contender. The Yumi is less expensive, heavier, about the same width, and it actually outscored every other ski in the category, including non-Value contenders. (See November issue.) So you’ve got choices. But for lightweight, technical performance that comes with a binding, the Flair is hard to beat. McElroy: “Everything I like in a carver: quick, lively, and lays trenches.” VALUE SCORE 3.57 STRENGTHS #2 Crud Performance, #2(T) Stability at Speed, #3 Playfulness

ALSO CONSIDER Yumi ($650): Less carve, more freeride, way less expensive; winner of the Value category.

3.02

Dynastar Intense 12

MSRP $1,065 with binding

AVERAGE SCORE

3.09

ALSO CONSIDER Vantage X 77 CTi W ($725): Slightly narrower, different color, shorter lengths, lower-DIN binding.

AVERAGE SCORE

ALSO CONSIDER Total Joy ($875 with binding): Similar carving performance on a more versatile (85-mm) waist.

Völkl Flair 81

VALUE SCORE 4.83 STRENGTHS #1 Playfulness, #1 Forgiveness, #2 Quickness/Bumps

MSRP $800 with binding DIMENSIONS 121-72-106 mm

RADIUS 14 m (166 cm)

Dynastar regularly does well in the Groomed Snow category, and the racy yet attractively priced Intense 12 was the female test team’s favorite from the French brand. It’s a reminder that for quickness and edge grip, nothing beats a narrow ski with vertical, full-height sidewalls. The Intense doesn’t try to win friends with forgiving performance or soft-snow versatility, but hard-charging women who know how to bend a ski will love its power and precision. Its supple heft smooths out rough snow so you can charge through crud and pushed-up afternoon piles, but flat early-morning corduroy is its natural habitat. Moffatt: “Unbelievable. This thing arcs like it’s on rails. A perfect mix of dampness and responsiveness for the stronger female skier.” VALUE SCORE 5.03 STRENGTHS #1 Stability at Speed, #1 Hard-Snow Integrity, #1 Crud Performance

ALSO CONSIDER Intense 10 ($700 with binding): Similar shape with a softer and more forgiving flex better suited to lower speeds.

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

77


What

Where

Waist Widths

Hardy girls seeking fun, stable mates.

Quick, edgy skis with character.

The ’Loaf, The ’Bush, The Rivah, etc.

85–93 mm

TESTER Robin Barnes LOCATION Lady Morgan Bowl, Deer Valley

78

n O Im vera pre ll ss io

Ba Sk lanc ills e of

an ce Ha r Int d-S eg no rit w y

s es

ss

Qu Bu ickn mp es s s/

St at abili Sp t y ee d

164, 172

3.74

2.79

3.83

3.90

3.78

3.80

3.88

3.93

3.84

3.90

163

3.55

3.27

3.62

3.80

3.58

3.58

3.83

3.43

3.43

3.43

Flo tat ion

Cr Pe ud rfo rm

Temptation 88 Total Joy

Fo rgi ve n

ROSSIGNOL HEAD

Pla y fu lne

Why ski the East? Because it makes you a more interesting person and a better skier. What does not kill us...

Av S c er a g ore e

2017 Women’s Mixed Snow East Gold Medal Winners

Te Le s t ng th( s)

women’s

Mixed Snow east

Buyers Guide 2017

Who

NORDICA

Santa Ana 93

169, 177

3.48

3.56

3.90

3.51

3.51

3.06

3.58

3.08

3.55

3.55

VÖLKL

Kenja

163, 170

3.32

2.70

3.71

3.23

3.26

2.96

3.47

3.73

3.26

3.59

BLIZZARD

Black Pearl

166, 172

3.31

2.79

3.79

3.46

3.14

2.95

3.33

3.43

3.44

3.44

STÖCKLI

Stormrider 85 Motion

167

3.23

2.78

3.87

3.18

2.94

2.63

3.57

3.62

3.11

3.40

ARMADA

Victa 87 Ti

171

3.14

2.91

2.65

3.44

3.70

3.45

3.41

2.55

3.15

3.04

ATOMIC

Vantage 90 CTi W

169

3.12

2.96

3.31

3.05

3.04

3.19

3.20

2.95

3.18

3.18

SALOMON

QST Lux 92

161, 177

3.01

3.44

3.01

2.90

3.06

3.04

3.49

2.71

2.71

2.71

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


A girl can change her mind, right? The Temptation was No. 1 two years ago but just missed the cut last year. Now it’s back at the top of the pack, and emphatically so, putting up the top score in all but two performance criteria and an Overall Impression score that’s the second highest across all categories. Rossi’s a big fan of basalt fiber laminates, and that’s the key here. Yes, it’s made of rock. Whatever. But it uncannily mimics the properties of metal—for damp smoothness at speed—without the weight. Testers loved its combination of charge-when-you-want-to and cruisewhen-you-don’t. And they’re really sorry about last year. Knight: “Girly graphic belies the performance of this lively little devil. Stable at speed, quick in trees.”

HEAD Total Joy

RADIUS 13 m (164 cm)

3.55

DIMENSIONS 135-88-124 mm

AVERAGE SCORE

Rossignol Temptation 88 3.74

AVERAGE SCORE

MSRP $750

VALUE SCORE 4.99 STRENGTHS #1 Quickness/Bumps, #1 Hard-Snow Integrity, #1 Crud Performance

MSRP $875 with binding DIMENSIONS 133-85-113 mm

RADIUS 13.6 m (163 cm)

The women have stopped raving about graphene and have just come to expect routinely excellent skis from Head, which has killed it in the women’s test ever since it discovered the exceptionally strong, thin laminate. Graphene lets Head redistribute profile thicknesses in a way that optimizes a ski’s flex pattern. It’s there in all the women’s Heads, but the Total Joy is their favorite. It’s somehow both powerful yet light and lively, they said. (Head’s motto: “Light done right.”) There’s terrain-absorbing rocker in the tip but never a hint of tip flap. High speeds or slow cruising, it doesn’t care. It’s just happy to be out on the hill. Moffatt: “Solid through chopped powder but not overly aggressive. Friendly, approachable, and all-around enjoyable.”

DIMENSIONS 124-93-112 mm

RADIUS 15.5 m (169 cm)

The guys have raved about their Enforcers since their debut last year. The women were a little cooler toward their lighter, metal-free Santa Ana version last year (No. 7) but warmed to it considerably this year, in both the original 100-mm and now the new 93-mm widths. They loved its versatility. Widest in the category, it’s as surfy and buoyant as an Eastern ski ever needs to be, yet it’s still quick turn-to-turn. Meanwhile it’s as comfortable at speed and strong on edge as you’d expect a wood-core, full-sidewall Nordica to be. Don’t waste it on groomers: It wants to search the hill’s nooks and crannies for freshies and adventure. Ratico: “Bomber in all the best ways. Floats really well for a 93-mm. Makes you feel like a rock star in trees, and plows through the cruddiest crud.” VALUE SCORE 4.65 STRENGTHS #1 Flotation, #1 Stability at Speed, #2 Balance of Skills

ALSO CONSIDER Enforcer 93 ($749): Strong women might love the men’s. It’s not a beast, and no ski scored higher for Overall Impression.

3.32

MSRP $749

AVERAGE SCORE

Völkl Kenja

3.48

ALSO CONSIDER Great Joy ($750 flat): Already got a binding? Save a few bucks and enjoy the additional buoyancy of a wider (98-mm) Joy.

AVERAGE SCORE

ALSO CONSIDER Temptation 84 ($650): Quicker, livelier, high-value version that a couple testers actually preferred.

Nordica Santa Ana 93

VALUE SCORE 5.26 STRENGTHS #2 Quickness/Bumps, #2 Forgiveness, #2 Crud Performance

MSRP $825 DIMENSIONS 127-90-110 mm

RADIUS 16.8 m (163 cm)

It’s been around for a while, but testers never tire of the Kenja. No. 1 last year, No. 2 the year before, and only one ski beat it for Overall Impression this year. It got a little wider and friendlier after a redesign last year, but it still succeeds best at giving an Eastern skier the confidence to trust an edge on hard snow and having the heft to smooth out rough snow and speed wobbles. It hopes you have solid skills and a will to improve—some testers found it a little stiff (in a good way). In return, it’s the kind of ski that’ll coax you to the next level in all types of terrain and snow conditions. Moffatt: “Definitely a good one-ski-quiver ski. Easy and light but still built well for when you want to charge. No wonder you see it on so many women in the East.” VALUE SCORE 4.02 STRENGTHS #2 Hard-Snow Integrity, #5 Balance of Skills, #5 Playfulness

ALSO CONSIDER Flair 81 ($1,065 with binding): New, lighter, carvier, and more technical. (But better than Kenja? Hmm.)

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

79


Buyers Guide 2017 women’s

DIMENSIONS 130.5-90-114 mm RADIUS 16 m (169 cm) Testers admired the Vantage 90’s sister (Vantage 95) as well (see Mixed Snow West). Both are commendable for their surfy soft-snow playfulness and easygoing performance. The 90 gets a little metal for added hard-snow performance, trading off quickness and energy, testers said. But it’s equally forgiving, responds nicely to a lighter touch, and works well at moderate speeds. Knight: “Nimble and impressively capable in varied terrain.” VALUE SCORE 4.30 STRENGTHS #4 Forgiveness, #5 Flotation, #6 Balance

ALSO CONSIDER Vantage 95 C W ($600): Barely wider, and testers deemed it quicker and more energetic (see Mixed Snow West).

80

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

AVG. SCORE

AVG. SCORE

MSRP $725

3.01

ALSO CONSIDER Stormrider 100 Motion ($1,199): Way wider and more buoyant, similarly powerful, and No. 2 in Mixed Snow West.

3.12

ALSO CONSIDER Samba ($780): If you aren’t afraid of a little width (98 mm). It’s Blizzard’s top scorer (see Mixed Snow West).

Salomon QST Lux 92

VALUE SCORE 3.23 STRENGTHS #2 Stability, #3 Hard Snow, #4 Crud

MSRP $600 DIMENSIONS 129-92-112 mm RADIUS 17 m (169 cm) One of the best values in the test (Salomon’s pricing is aggressive across all categories) is also one of the most distinctive rides in the category. The Lux is optimistic about the snow it expects to encounter, even on the right coast. It’s a floater, a surfer, a smearer, and powder brings out its best. Experts will love its light, slashy deep-snow skill; skidders its overall user-friendliness. Brown: “Big, soft tip eases you into the turn. Snakes its way down the hill.” VALUE SCORE 5.02 STRENGTHS #2 Flotation, #5 Crud, #7 Forgiveness

ALSO CONSIDER Gemma ($850 with binding): With an 85-mm waist and deeper sidecut, it’s as carvy as the Lux is surfy.

Armada Victa 87 Ti

3.14

With its overall power and reliably sturdy edge grip, the Stormrider 85 isn’t scared of any kind of snow (or, yes, ice) an Eastern winter might throw at it. And if you’re comfortable with speed, you’ll bring out the best in it. It won’t coddle you, testers say. Be strong, be skilled, or be looking for a softer-flexing ski. But fearless experts can make it sing, whether railing on groomed snow or blasting through junk. Humes: “No lollygagging. It demands to be skied.”

AVG. SCORE

MSRP $999 DIMENSIONS 128-85-110 mm RADIUS 15.2 m (167 cm)

Atomic Vantage 90 CTi W

VALUE SCORE 4.60 STRENGTHS #3 Balance, #4 Stability, #4 Quickness/Bumps

Stöckli Stormrider 85 Motion

The Black Pearl has been squatting at or near the top of the rankings for a number of years now, admired by testers for its multitool versatility (and reliably pretty graphics: a “badass beauty,” said one tester). Some of the women thought it might be a little stiff and bossy for tentative skiers, but not all agreed. (Especially if you bring a healthy body weight to it, they argued.) Ratico: “Stable and playful and fun in all conditions.”

3.23

MSRP $720 DIMENSIONS 123-88-108 mm RADIUS 17 m (166 cm)

AVG. SCORE

AVG. SCORE

3.31

Blizzard Black Pearl

Mixed Snow east MSRP $700 DIMENSIONS 126-86-118.5 mm RADIUS 16.5 m (163 cm) Like their male counterparts, the Invictuses, the Victas have changed the way testers think of Armada. There’s still the lively freestyle flavor they expect, but with a new directional stability they love. If you value fun and creativity over precision and accuracy, here’s your ride. Cunningham: “Excels in bumps, crud, and powder and still holds an edge on hardpack. For young-at-heart skiers who prefer adventure over groomers.” VALUE SCORE 4.61 STRENGTHS #3 Forgiveness, #5 Quickness/ Bumps, #6 Flotation ALSO CONSIDER Victa 93 ($600): A little wider yet less expensive, with a lighter (metal-free) feel.

Women’s Test Team ROBIN BARNES Instructor at Heavenly (winter); ski-school director at Portillo, Chile (other winter); keeps Rogan honest KRISTI BROWN Vermont native (Brandon!); former UVM racer and pro freerider; fashionista; ski-test fun facilitator ERICA CUNNINGHAM Colorado native, now self-employed Bozeman environmental activist; former patroller, instructor, and top-10 World Freeride Tour competitor STEPHANIE HUMES Shop manager for Jan’s PCMR, Park City; talented bootfitter (and we mean that in the nicest way) MARINA KNIGHT Writer, photographer, Stowe native, now Park City local; former World Cup correspondent ROBIN MCELROY Squaw patroller, backcountry guide; Tordrillo Mountain Lodge heli guide; needs to Get Out More (not) DANIELLE MOFFATT Vermont resident; former racer and race coach; official ski-test sommelier; owner, Cork wine bars, Waterbury and Stowe LIBBY RATICO Race coach and former racer; Vermont native; proud product of Northeast Slopes; Northeast Kingdom real-estate mogul; pie maven


photo © Stefcande.com

CAN FIT DO FIT We build and design every boot around the foot to guarantee maximum comfort, response, and control. We collaborate with the best boot-fitters in the world, with an attention to foot mechanics and the desire to help every skier perform better. We take an artisan’s approach to boot-building, fine-tuning shell thicknesses and handcrafting each liner to ensure that every foot that steps into a Lange will BE ONE with their boots. Only LANGE delivers state-of-the-art solutions in fit and performance for every foot, from the World Cup circuit to the skin track with the all-new, award-winning XT FREETOUR. Photo: Gabriel fine-tuning shell thickness.


What

Where

Waist Widths

Women lucky enough to do their skiing in soft-snow locales.

Wide-beamed, freeridey surfers and skimmers.

Trees, chutes, and groomers of the Rockies and beyond.

95–100 mm

TESTERS Robin McElroy and Erica Cunningham LOCATION Daly Bowl, Deer Valley

82

NORDICA

Santa Ana 100

SALOMON

QST Lumen 99

ATOMIC HEAD

3.80

3.71

3.31

2.94

2.80

3.65

3.35

2.86

2.85

3.69

3.18

2.99

3.36

3.54

3.56

3.27

3.39

3.55

3.18

Vantage 95 C W

170

3.36

2.91

Great Joy

168

3.27

2.95

VÖLKL

90Eight W

163, 170

3.27

3.08

ELAN

Ripstick 94 W

170

3.26

3.19

K2

FulLuvIt 95

170, 177

3.17

3.00

2.81

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

ss

n

3.79

3.57

167, 181

O Im vera pre ll ss io

3.12 3.85

169, 177

Ba Sk lanc ills e of

3.64 3.48

3.51

an ce Ha r Int d-S eg no rit w y

3.79 3.85

2.95

s

3.43 3.56

3.63 3.58

es

Flo tat ion

4.33 3.49

166, 174 178, 170

Cr Pe ud rfo rm

Sky 7 HD W

3.56

3.08

Fo rgi ve n

Stormrider 100 Motion

ROSSIGNOL

3.90

3.72

Pla y fu lne

STÖCKLI

166, 172

Qu Bu ickn mp es s s/

Samba

St at abili Sp t y ee d

Some are fun and forgiving players. Some are strong and responsive chargers. All are testerapproved for daylong fun.

BLIZZARD

Av S c er a g ore e

2017 Women’s Mixed Snow West Gold Medal Winners

Te Le s t ng th( s)

women’s

Mixed Snow west

Buyers Guide 2017

Who

3.53

3.70

3.93

4.03

3.83

3.93

3.33

3.16

4.23

4.06

3.33

3.84

3.91

3.66

3.53

3.39

3.51

3.61

3.38

3.51

4.04

3.66

3.26

3.50

3.19

3.66

3.69

3.69

3.56

3.66

3.47

2.70

3.26

3.46

3.46

3.66

3.23

3.23

3.40

3.40

3.28

3.53

3.24

3.30

3.15

3.26

3.00

2.81

3.14

3.41


The Samba, a perennial favorite, slipped to No. 3 last year. But it returns to its place at the top of the rankings with the second-highest Overall Impression score in the entire test. (Only another Blizzard beat it, the powder-specific Sheeva.) Testers agreed it does best at high speeds for hard-chargers, but Blizzard has worked to lighten it up over the past couple of years, and it won’t overpower lightweights with a more finessed style of attack. It’s the picture of versatility, with top-five scores across the board. Cunningham: “All the right combinations of stability and maneuverability and float and edge bite. An ideal daily driver from bell to bell.” Moffatt: “Strong enough for women who love speed, but still approachable and versatile enough for intermediates.”

MSRP $1,199 DIMENSIONS 136-100-123 mm

RADIUS 15.9 m (166 cm)

Have you ever complained about women’s skis that only patronize women? The Stormrider will shut you up. (You know, in a nice way.) There’s nothing pink-and-shrinked about it. Remember, many of the testers who so loved this ski have race backgrounds. They all rip, and none are afraid of speed. Sound like you? Or maybe you’ve never been comfortable at speed because you haven’t had a ski like this: reassuringly solid underfoot, quiet on the snow, hefty in a good way. Wood core, full/vert sidewalls, metal reinforcement, Swiss precision—not for sissies. Or penny-pinchers. It’s for putting the hammer down and making the mountain your sexy manservant. Barnes: “Keeps you honest in bumps and short turns but rewards you with stability and confidence.”

DIMENSIONS 128-98-118 mm

RADIUS 17 m (178 cm)

The women have always been less forgiving of the 7 Series models’ forgiving side than the men. Now that Rossi has beefed the Sky up with a reinforcing layer of carbon (for lightweight strength) mixed with basalt fiber (for mellowing dampness), it meets with their emphatic approval. The Sky is a very different animal from the strong, edgy models that took the top two rankings. It’s a surfer and a slasher, far more interested in soft snow than hard. Looser in the snow, it’s easier to pivot and foot-steer. That opens up creativity in line choices. And because speed checks are easier, the Sky eggs you on to higher speeds, especially in powder. Testers still love its easy playfulness; now it’s found the missing oomph. Knight: “Super versatile and fun. Not as burly as I usually like, but I loved how easy it was to ski. Lively in powder.” VALUE SCORE 4.77 STRENGTHS #1 Flotation, #1 Playfulness, #3 Forgiveness

ALSO CONSIDER Temptation 88 ($750): Edgy and carvy, a totally different flavor; No. 1 in Mixed Snow East.

3.57

MSRP $750

AVERAGE SCORE

3.58

ALSO CONSIDER Stormrider 85 Motion ($999): A narrower version, ideal for Eastern freeriding.

AVERAGE SCORE

ALSO CONSIDER Sheeva ($720): Slightly wider (104 mm), identical construction, yet lower-priced.

Nordica Santa Ana 100

VALUE SCORE 3.03 STRENGTHS #1 Stability at Speed, #1 HardSnow Integrity, #1 Crud Performance

Rossignol Sky 7 HD W

VALUE SCORE 4.77 STRENGTHS #1 Balance of Skills, #2 HardSnow Integrity, #2 Stability at Speed

Stöckli Stormrider 100 Motion

RADIUS 19 m (182 cm)

3.63

DIMENSIONS 131-98-116 mm

AVERAGE SCORE

Blizzard Samba 3.72

AVERAGE SCORE

MSRP $780

MSRP $799 DIMENSIONS 131-100-119 mm

RADIUS 15.5 m (169 cm)

It’s like Nordica can’t miss these days. All eight of the skis it entered in the test made the cut; only one failed to make the top four in its category. The Santa Anas (100 and 93) are the women’s versions of the category-killing Enforcers—same shape but lighter-weight wood in the core and carbon-fiber reinforcement instead of metal. And while the women aren’t quite as gaga about theirs as the men, they found plenty to admire. For a ski of its width, they said, it’s remarkably quick, easy to toss around. It’s excellent in chopped-up crud, bringing a buoyant, surfy playfulness to the task rather than a plow-through-anything style. Cunningham: “So fun, so balanced and versatile and high-performing. Incredible versatility, from bumps and crud to groomers and back.” VALUE SCORE 4.47 STRENGTHS #2 Flotation, #2 Crud Performance, #3 Quickness/Bumps

ALSO CONSIDER Santa Ana 93 ($749): Narrower, quicker, grippier; similarly successful in the Mixed Snow East category.

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

83


Buyers Guide 2017 women’s

HEAD Great Joy

3.27

Every Atomic in the women’s test made the medals, but here’s the favorite. The light, zippy, attractively priced Vantage has category-best quickness, but above all it’s just easy to manage. Experts with a highenergy style will love its rapid-fire short arcs (a product of its carbon-rich layup), but intermediates can trust it to push them to a new level. Humes: “It feels light and airy, but boom, step on it and it reacts beautifully.” VALUE SCORE 5.60 STRENGTHS #1 Quickness, #1 Forgiveness, #2 Playfulness

MSRP MSRP $750 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 141-98-124 mm RADIUS 14.3 m (168 cm) The girls raved so hard about graphene that Head finally put it in the boys’ skis too. The result: Head medaled with every ski entered in the test. Graphene is so thin and strong it lets Head reduce overall mass and redistribute profile thicknesses for optimal performance. The Great Joy is unmistakably light, but it hammers at speed like a much heavier ski. Lovell: “Pleasure and ease. Consistent, confident, no unwelcome surprises.”

K2 FulLuvIt 95

VALUE SCORE 3.96 STRENGTHS #5 Balance, #5(T) Flotation, #6 Hard Snow ALSO CONSIDER Aura ($875): Similar width but stronger and surfier, thanks to more metal and full-length rocker.

84

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

MSRP $700 MSRP $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 135-94-110 mm RADIUS 16 m (170 cm) The Ripstick line is a sudden, significant improvement for Elan. Remember it’s left/right dedicated, shaped so you get a knifey, cambered inside edge and a smeary, rockered outside edge. The result is multitool versatility. It’s unaccountably buoyant for such a narrow ski, yet its hardpack arcs are better than expected from a 94-mm waist. Ratico: “Somehow both damp and nimble, which gave me the confidence to really push it.” VALUE SCORE 4.66 STRENGTHS #3 Flotation, #6 Stability, #6 Forgiveness

ALSO CONSIDER Ripstick 96 ($700): The men’s version, similarly successful in the men’s test.

AVG. SCORE

The new 90Eight has an interesting look: thick down the middle for power, but thin near the edges to save weight. Some testers loved it for its strength and stability, others for its soft-snow surfiness, and it’s got enough of both to register a strong Overall Impression score. You don’t have to hit the gym to be able to handle it, but it helps. McElroy: “A ripper. Skis like an off-duty race ski. It’s stiff, but there’s a nice fluidity to it too.”

AVG. SCORE

AVG. SCORE

MSRP $825 MSRP $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 133-98-116 mm RADIUS 15.9 m (163 cm)

3.17

ALSO CONSIDER Total Joy ($875 with binding): Narrower (85 mm) and even quicker to edge; the women’s highest-ranked Head.

3.26

ALSO CONSIDER Vantage 90 CTi W ($725): Narrower width plus metal for stronger grip and high-speed calm.

3.27

ALSO CONSIDER QST Lux 92 ($600): Narrower and edgier for those who fear a 99-mm waist will feel planky.

ELAN Ripstick 94 W

VALUE SCORE 4.36 STRENGTHS #3(T) Stability, #4(T) Hard Snow, #7 Crud

Völkl 90Eight W

VALUE SCORE 4.90 STRENGTHS #2 Balance, #3 Hard Snow, #3(T) Stability

MSRP MSRP $600 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 132-95-118 mm RADIUS 16.8 m (170 cm)

AVG. SCORE

Atomic Vantage 95 C W

The Lumen, testers’ favorite Salomon, comes to play, with an easygoing nature that abides the mistakes of lesser-skilled skiers. But it packs a punch, too, with excellent hard-snow skills and an eagerness to rail on hardpack. Only one ski beat it for Balance of Skills. And check out its Overall Impression score: There’s a fun factor that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Humes: “A wonderful balance between aggressive and forgiving.”

3.36

MSRP MSRP $725 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 136-99-118 mm RADIUS 19.4 m (174 cm)

AVG. SCORE

AVG. SCORE

3.55

Salomon QST Lumen 99

Mixed Snow west

MSRP $900 MSRP $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 132-95-115 mm RADIUS 14 m (170 cm) The FulLuvIt works hard to let everyone in on the fun. If you know how to pressure an edge, it’s got deep sidecut for can’tmiss carving and nice rebound energy to zip you into the next turn. But it’s happy to just skid and chill out too. Aggressive rippers can overpower it, but its energy suits light-touch experts well. Testers dubbed it the best ski in the category for budding intermediates. Brown: “Fun, floaty, spirited, and sprightly.” VALUE SCORE 3.52 STRENGTHS #3 Playfulness, #6 Quickness, #7 Flotation

ALSO CONSIDER Remedy 102 ($700): A fatter, floatier, less expensive twin tip from K2’s Factory Team collection.


What

Where

Waist Widths

Women expecting knee-deep or better this season.

Fat, surfy freeriders that make you even better in powder.

Ideally CMH or Wiegele’s. But wherever deep snow happens.

104–113 mm

TESTER Marina Knight LOCATION Orion, Deer Valley

86

4.10

3.91

3.77

3.73

3.99

3.68

3.87

3.86

3.63

3.57

4.01

4.00

3.74

3.41

3.41

n O Im vera pre ll ss io

3.70

Ba Sk lanc ills e of

s

an ce Ha r Int d-S eg no rit w y

3.52

Cr Pe ud rfo rm

3.66

169, 177

es

165, 173

Fo rgi ve n

100Eight W La Nina

ss

VÖLKL NORDICA

Pla y fu lne

3.85

Qu Bu ickn mp es s s/

165, 172

St at abili Sp t y ee d

Sheeva

BLIZZARD

Flo tat ion

2017 Women’s Deep Snow Gold Medal Winners

Av S c er a g ore e

Fat is sexy, and these wide-bodies make your smile look bigger. Utah treated testers to a powder day, and their mood was as buoyant as these skis.

Te Le s t ng th( s)

women’s

Deep Snow

Buyers Guide 2017

Who

3.30

3.84

4.31

3.68

3.13

3.64

3.86

3.40

2.57

3.43

3.69

ATOMIC

Backland FR 109 W

175

3.17

3.64

3.54

3.13

2.84

2.97

3.46

2.69

2.86

3.43

ROSSIGNOL

Soul 7 HD W

170, 178

3.17

3.17

2.90

3.30

3.23

3.01

3.43

2.74

3.30

3.41

HEAD

Big Joy

168, 178

3.10

3.44

3.99

2.67

2.70

2.16

3.46

3.14

2.96

3.39

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


No ski has ever earned the top ranking in every performance criterion. But the category-demolishing Sheeva came tantalizingly close this year, with bestin-show scores in eight of the nine, including an all-time record-smashing high in Overall Impression. With Deer Valley cloaked in six to eight inches on Day 1, the testers—and the Sheeva— went wild. The Sheeva’s a little narrow by powder-ski standards, so it settled for second in Flotation. But otherwise it excelled in every facet of the game. Cunningham: “The Sheeva shreds! Cuts through crud magnificently; fun flotation and playfulness in powder; carvy on groomers too. Incredible versatility. A great all-mountain powder ski for the adventurous ripper.”

Völkl 100Eight W

RADIUS 17 m (172 cm)

3.66

DIMENSIONS 134-104-124 mm

AVERAGE SCORE

Blizzard Sheeva 3.85

AVERAGE SCORE

MSRP $720

VALUE SCORE 5.34 STRENGTHS #1 Stability at Speed, #1 Crud Performance, #1 Quickness/Bumps

MSRP $825 DIMENSIONS 141-108-124 mm

RADIUS 16.7 m (165 cm)

It slipped a spot from its No. 1 ranking in last year’s test, but the 100Eight still “skis like a champ,” and Völkl lovers will continue to adore it. Its unusual construction—thin down the edges—looks light and knifey, but also like it might be brittle or rattly. Not so. Testers gave it everything they had and loved its surprising power and dampness. None warned—as they often do with top-ranked skis—that it’s “too much ski” for some. It never forgets that powder days are supposed to be fun and brings an appropriately joyful attitude, mixing power and finesse in just the right balance. McElroy: “Handled everything I charged into and made it fun, fun, fun. Truly an all-mountain ripper. Nimble, balanced, playful, poppy, forgiving.”

DIMENSIONS 143-113-134.5 mm

RADIUS 14 m (169 cm)

“Quiver skis” are supposed to be specialized, and La Nina is peerless in knee-deep or better. The widest ski in the test, it doesn’t try to be your everyday buddy. Point it down a steep groomer and it just wants to go in for cocoa. But on powder days it’s the life of the party. No other ski came close to matching its surface-skimming buoyancy. It surfs, smears, throws huge sprays for the camera, and beats everyone to the bottom. Wide but never planky; solid but never heavy; strong yet surprisingly accessible and intuitive. For any girl who’s ever complained that the boys get all the megafat fun, here’s your ride. Ratico: “Incredibly balanced and enjoyable. I was able to attack through trees and plow through crud. Really fun ski.” VALUE SCORE 4.15 STRENGTHS #1 Flotation, #2 Stability at Speed, #3 Quickness/Bumps

ALSO CONSIDER Santa Ana ($799): Wide enough (100 mm) for all but the deepest, with more everyday versatility.

3.17

Atomic Backland FR 109 W

MSRP $849

AVERAGE SCORE

3.52

ALSO CONSIDER One W ($775): Wider, floatier, and heavier, with a straightforward wood-core, full-sidewall layup.

AVERAGE SCORE

ALSO CONSIDER Samba ($780): Negligibly narrower, yet more expensive. So, yeah, stick with the Sheeva?

Nordica La Nina

VALUE SCORE 4.44 STRENGTHS #2 Stability at Speed, #2 Quickness/Bumps, #2 Flotation

MSRP $725 DIMENSIONS 133-109-123 mm

RADIUS RADIUS 17.5 m (175 cm) 19 m (182 cm)

Atomic calls its new Backland FR a “powder/freeride-touring hybrid.” The “touring” part had testers a little nervous: What’s good for the up—super light weight—can make a ski nervous and chattery on the down. Not in this case. The Backland FR isn’t all that light, never the least bit nervous, and just plain hungry to rip in deep snow, testers said. Its uniquely dishy tip shape—rockered laterally as well as longitudinally, if you will—is as floaty and driftable as it looks. And its wide-body surfiness is underpinned with carbonreinforced power that experts will love. Humes: “Felt light underfoot but didn’t ski that way. It’s quick edge to edge, with a super-stable feeling you can trust. Longitudinally soft but torsionally solid.” VALUE SCORE 4.37 STRENGTHS #3(T) Crud Performance, #4 Flotation, #4 Stability at Speed

ALSO CONSIDER Backland FR 102 W ($600): Identical construction; narrower, quicker waist width.

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

87


Buyers Guide 2017 women’s

AVG. SCORE

VALUE SCORE 3.73 STRENGTHS #4 Balance, #4 Quickness, #4 Hard Snow ALSO CONSIDER Super 7 HD W ($900): One of the widest women’s skis out there (116 mm)—slashy and unsinkable.

HEAD Big Joy

Rossi beefed it up with carbon fiber this year, but the Soul remains supremely easy to ski in powder. Experts can charge harder than ever; it’ll bail them out if things go south. Intermediates can use its easy-to-pivot buoyancy to master deep snow. Its balance point, one tester said, is “pretty much the whole ski.” Ski it from the back or the front; it’s happy either way. Brown: “Continues to be a crowd pleaser. Soft, fun, super versatile.”

3.10

MSRP MSRP $850 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 136-106-126 mm RADIUS 19 m (162 cm)

AVG. SCORE

3.17

Rossignol Soul 7 HD W

Deep Snow MSRP MSRP $750 $1,150 with binding DIMENSIONS 149-110-132 mm RADIUS 14.8 m (168 cm) It’s built for women but won’t treat you like a little girl. Again this year, the Big Joy’s nevercondescending power was a hit. It’s “strong and stable,” best suited to experts. It uses its supple heft to hammer smoothly through crud, and it’s plenty edgy on hardpack. No powder? No problem. Moffatt: “Definitely a beefier women’s ski. Good for someone who likes to ski hard and wants to take their offpiste skiing up a notch.” VALUE SCORE 4.13 STRENGTHS #2 Hard Snow, #3(T) Crud, #7 Flotation

Digging Deer Valley The ski test decamps for the other side of the Wasatch. After almost a decade in Little Cottonwood, it was time for a change. But we weren’t dumb enough to leave Utah snow behind. Somehow, despite our reputation, we convinced Deer Valley to host us. Predictably, our digs were lavish. The DV folks wisely put us in nicely secluded condos, where our antics wouldn’t upset any normal people. (Right next to the fire station, we noticed; in case things really got out of hand?) The pros: downtown Park City for late-night fun, killer lunches at Empire Canyon Lodge, Daly Chutes on a powder day, etc. The cons: dragging testers away from the Empire Canyon Lodge buffet when they’re supposed to be testing; heading back to reality on Friday.

ALSO CONSIDER Great Joy ($750): Much narrower (98 mm) but built identically; a medalist in Mixed Snow West.

To All Our Friends TESTERS Stephanie Humes, Tracy Gibbons LOCATION Empire Express, Deer Valley

High fives to all of our sponsors: You make the test less testy. Deer Valley (lifts, lodging, Empire lunches, chill shuttle drivers, eight inches on Day 1, refresher course on how to properly rock the ’stache) The Montage (parking!...we know we’re a pain...thanks!) Helly Hansen (stylish, functional apparel that picky testers really like) Swix (poles that made us ski just like Lasse Kjus) Smith (goggles that make everything look better) Darn Tough (sweet socks from 802) Chaos (styley hats for après) SmartWool (best baselayer ever) Flylow (warm gloves that look cool) Pret (helmets we forgot we were wearing) Squatters (delicious local beer, gallons of it, in three flavors) Skida (polyfunctional head/neckwear)

88

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


Buyers Guide 2017 What’s your preference? Performance above all? All-day comfort and convenience? Find the right boot and you might not have to choose.

men’s & women’s

Boots TESTER Lee Ann Ross LOCATION Sunshine Bowl, Solitude, Utah

90

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAN CAMPBELL


All-Mountain Traditional

Frontside Technical

BRAND

MODEL

WIDTH*

We’ll say it again: Boot testing is a subjective process. On the other hand, consensus happens. Here are the testers’ favorites—and how they ranked. MEN’S OR WOMEN’S

FINAL SCORE

HEAD

Raptor 140 RS

N

23.04

LANGE

RS 140

N

21.85

LANGE

RS 120 SC

N

21.71

HEAD

Raptor 110 RS W

N

21.00

SALOMON

X Max 130

N

20.57

FISCHER

RC 4 140 Vacuum FF

N

20.00

MODEL

WIDTH*

MEN’S OR WOMEN’S

FINAL SCORE

TECNICA

Cochise Pro 130

N

22.82

TECNICA

Cochise 105 W

N

22.50

DALEBOOT

VFF Pro

n/a

22.25

LANGE

XT 130

M

21.53

ROSSIGNOL

Alltrack Pro 130

M

20.69

ROSSIGNOL

Alltrack Pro 110 W

M

20.25

SCARPA

Freedom RS 130

M

19.92

K2

Pinnacle Pro

M

19.78

W

19.67 19.50

M

22.50

DALBELLO

Kyra 95

Mach1 130 LV

N

22.47

DALEBOOT

VFF Pro

N

SX 130

W

21.94

DALBELLO

Panterra 120

W

19.36

Hawx Ultra 130

N

21.82

DALBELLO

Lupo Carbon Ti I.D.

N

19.29

SALOMON

QST Pro 130

M

19.29

FISCHER

Hybrid W 10+ Vacuum FF

N

18.75

ROXA

X-Face 120

N

18.73

TECNICA

Mach1 105 W MV

TECNICA LANGE ATOMIC ATOMIC

Hawx Magna 130

W

21.75

LANGE

RX 130 LV

N

21.67

NORDICA

Speedmachine 130

M

21.67

ATOMIC

Hawx Ultra 110 W

N

21.60

TECNICA

Mach1 130 MV

M

21.59

HEAD

BRAND

All-Mountain Adventure

The Winners

Vector Evo 130

M

21.59

SCARPA

Freedom SL 120 W

M

17.88

K2

BFC 90 W

W

17.00

ROSSIGNOL

Allspeed Pro 120

M

21.57

NORDICA

GPX 130

N

21.27

ROSSIGNOL

Allspeed Elite 130

N

21.27

Test HQ: Solitude, Utah

ROSSIGNOL

Allspeed 100

W

21.27

Deer Valley’s new sister resort is the ideal venue.

FISCHER

Trinity 110 Vacuum FF

N

21.25

LANGE

RX 110 W

M

21.25

K2

Spyne 130 LV

N

20.93

n/a

20.60

DALEBOOT

ST

K2

Spyne 110 HV

DALEBOOT

VFF W

LANGE

SX 90 W

W

20.43

DALBELLO

Luna 80

W

20.40

ATOMIC

Hawx Magna 90 W

W

20.33 20.24

W

20.58

n/a

20.50

SALOMON

X Pro 130

M

SCOTT

G2 120 Powerfit

N

20.17

ROSSIGNOL

Pure Pro 100

M

20.00 19.90

NORDICA

Speedmachine 105 W

M

TECNICA

Mach 105 W LV

N

19.86

NORDICA

GPX 105 W

N

19.44

HEAD

Advant Edge 85 W

W

19.00

ATOMIC

Hawx Prime 100 W

M

18.80

ROSSIGNOL

Pure Elite 120

N

18.67

SCOTT

G2 100M Powerfit

N

18.50

HEAD

Vector Evo 110 W

M

18.36

Testing boots is tricky and time-consuming, and not just any mountain will do when you’ve got more than 100 models on the shelves to judge, and boots aren’t ready for testing until early April. Solitude proved an ideal test venue: varied terrain, speedy lifts, on-site lodging, and a facility big enough to house 50 testers, 400 boots, and all our associated fitting and modification equipment. Solitude skis big, and its new Summit Express chair gave us fast access to the goods. Bonus: The airport is right around the corner. The dining, service, lift ops, and grooming were excellent. And Solitude’s late-season snowpack was fat. Enough said.

Thank You, Sponsors Our valued partners make the boot test possible. Solitude Mountain Resort (Boot Test Command & Social Center); Leki poles; Pret helmets; Masterfit insoles; Level gloves; Transpack boot bags; BlackStrap face gear; Farm to Feet socks; DryGuy boot dryers; Ski Skootys sole walkers; Hotronic boot heaters; Munk Pack oatmeal fruit squeeze; Discrete beanies; Hydro Flask water bottles; Silver Fork Restaurant; The Hog Wallow Pub.

* Widths: N = narrow, M = medium, W = wide.

Men’s

Women’s

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

91


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s & women’s boots

frontside

FINAL SCORE 21.71

Lange RS 120 SC

FINAL SCORE 21.85

Lange RS 140

FINAL SCORE 23.04

Head Raptor 140 RS

Technical

Power, precision, and quickness? Check. Comfort? Not so much, though a good bootfitting session will fix that. With stiff flexes and snug, accurate fits, these boots are the pinnacle of performance.

FLEX 140 | MSRP $800 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 140 | MSRP $900 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 120 | MSRP $700 | WIDTH N M W

It’ll make you a better skier the very first time you put it on edge, but you’d better be pretty good going in because there’s little forgiveness. The Raptor is stout, quick, and all-around awesome. It’s anatomically shaped and surprisingly comfortable out of the box, but some punches and grinds will likely be required. Korman: “Its power and support will inspire confidence in the already confident.”

User-friendly fit and accessible power make the RS a joy to ski. It elevates a wannabe’s game and catapults an expert to another level. It’s not demanding, yet under full throttle it drops into a gear you probably won’t quite be expecting. It’s sumptuously snug with an aggressive fit at the heel, ankle, and instep; more relaxed up front. Wiberg: “Super well connected: You twitch, the ski goes.”

The RS 120 might be the most decorated women’s boot in the past half-decade of testing. Expect snugness all over. You might need some bootfitter help, but what a return you get. Perfectly balanced, the RS is “confidence inspiring” with precision steering and edge power. And with sizes down to 21.5 and up to 28.5, it’s an everywoman winner. Johnson: “Snug fit, athletic stance, and tons of energy.”

FINAL SCORE 20.00

ALSO CONSIDER RS 110 SC ($600)

Fischer RC4 140 Vacuum Full Fit

FINAL SCORE 20.57

ALSO CONSIDER RS 130 ($850)

Salomon X Max 130

FINAL SCORE 21.00

Head Raptor 110 RS W

ALSO CONSIDER Raptor 120 RS ($650)

FLEX 110 | MSRP $650 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 130 | MSRP $850 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 140 | MSRP $1,000 | WIDTH N M W

Here’s the snuggest women’s boot in the test. It’s well sculpted for a low-volume foot. Precise command over the ski is the name of the game here, whether for making quick steering moves or putting a ski on edge and driving it hard. Its lateral edging game is top-notch, making this a platinum-level piste performer. Post: “Perfect 10 for me on the snug fit, with rocket-powered edging and a killer stance.”

The X Max is a frontside powerhouse that matches strong fit with an agile, active flex and lightweight feel underfoot to create a nice blend of edge grip and quickness that technical skiers will appreciate. Testers loved the muscular way it moves to the edge. It’s strong laterally, and the tallish cuff provides tons of leverage. Jackson: “Stellar athletic stance and comfort. Awesome on snow. So solid.”

The RC4 offers lightning-quick out-of-the-box performance and characteristically close Fischer fit. It has a close-to-the-ground foot feel that lets you fine-tune the arc from start to finish. Tipped-out cuff angles and extraforward stance make for strong edging. The Vacuum fit process was a must-do for most testers. Bradley: “I love how this boot skis: smooth, effortless, very strong to the edge.”

ALSO CONSIDER Raptor 120 90 RS RS,W$700 ($475)

92

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

ALSO CONSIDER X Max 120 ($725)

ALSO CONSIDER RC4 130 Vacuum ($950)

Men’s

Women’s


all-mountain

FINAL SCORE 21.94

Lange SX 130

FINAL SCORE 22.47

Tecnica Mach1 130 LV

FINAL SCORE 22.50

Tecnica Mach1 105 W MV

Traditional

Don’t need a gimmicky walk mode to get from car to hill? Fixed-cuff all-mountain models combine superior rearward support with all-day comfort.

FLEX 105 | MSRP $720 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 130 | MSRP $840 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 130 | MSRP $750 | WIDTH N M W

Double thumbs-ups all around for the Mach1. The liner and shell contour nicely around common fit trouble spots while holding the rear foot snugly for solid skiing. This boot is suitable for race-bred chargers looking for an easier fit package as well as for intermediates looking to step up their game. Poore: “Hugs the foot in all the right places. Push it; this boot can take it.”

This is how a narrow performance model should fit, said our testers: just a little too tight out of the box, everywhere. The LV version of the Mach1 was the top-scoring boot in the category. Testers raved about “limitless amounts” of easily accessed and entirely balanced power along with “quasi-telepathic steering control.” Goldsmith: “A true low-volume boot, all the way from toe box to heel.”

It’s so simple: To build a great wide-fit boot, take a benchmark medium model and simply open up the critical fit zones. Somehow Lange executed it better than anyone. The SX holds the rear foot exceptionally well during aggressive skiing. Testers said it’s head-andshoulders above most other wide-class rides. Sullivan: “Its stiff flex engages well when driving the tongue. A cavernous boot that rips.”

FINAL SCORE 21.67

ALSO CONSIDER SX 120 ($650)

Lange RX 130 LV

FINAL SCORE 21.75

ALSO CONSIDER Mach1 120 LV ($720)

Atomic Hawx Magna 130

FINAL SCORE 21.82

Atomic Hawx Ultra 130

ALSO CONSIDER Mach1 95 W MV ($600)

FLEX 130 | MSRP $850 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 130 | MSRP $725 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 130 | MSRP $850 | WIDTH N M W

Here’s one of the biggest and best surprises of the test, a lightweight, compact boot that meets or beats the current fit and performance standard bearers. The new Hawx Ultra provides a shocking amount of extra room in the toe box despite a sole length that’s five mm shorter than average. It skis strong, snappy, and agile. Gabriel: “Race-boot power and no slop. I’m a better skier in this boot.”

Though massively roomy, the Magna’s not boxy. It has an anatomically accurate shape for the normal parts of a foot and leg, just on a larger scale. Testers found decent heel hold and ankle grip. It’s surprisingly quick edge-toedge and ultra strong on all manner of snow surfaces. Holmquist: “Slipperlike comfort with good balance and a firm flex. A highperformance boot for the thick-footed guy.”

The RX returns as one of testers’ very favorite boots. Lange knows what works for real skiers: anatomical fit; neutral, balanced stance; no-gimmicks performance. The combination of snug fit, lively flex feel, and lateral and torsional rigidity in both the cuff and the lower makes it a joy to ski anywhere on the mountain. Kipp: “The performance feel of a race boot in an easy-to-fit form.”

ALSO CONSIDER Hawx Ultra 120 ($725)

ALSO CONSIDER Hawx Magna 110 ($600)

ALSO CONSIDER RX 100 LV ($600)

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

93


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s & women’s boots

FINAL SCORE 21.59

Tecnica Mach1 130 MV

FINAL SCORE 21.60

Atomic Hawx Ultra 110 W

FINAL SCORE 21.67

Nordica Speedmachine 130

All-Mountain Traditional

FLEX 130 | MSRP $799 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 110 | MSRP $725 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 130 | MSRP $840 | WIDTH N M W

Here’s the rare sequel that exceeds expectations. The all-new Speedmachine 130 is lighter, stronger, more comfortable, and easier to get on and off than its predecessor. The liner is contoured and pillowy but not sloppy. Despite its light weight and cushioned feel, testers said its power to the edge and stability at speed were shockingly good. Stewart: “Smoothly contoured everywhere, cushioned and comfy without slop. A well-centered feeling with strong edge command.”

Despite its smaller-than-average boot-sole length, the Hawx Ultra somehow manages to supply a little extra length, width, and height for the toes while maintaining category-standard narrowness elsewhere. Nice trick. It uses stiff and thin Grilamid in the cuff for lighter weight and a snappy, resilient, powerful feel. The Power Shift mechanism effectively tweaks forward lean stiffness, but most testers like it as is. Globis: “Glovelike, comfy fit with sensitive feel for the snow and an appealing look.”

At a time when many medium-width boots achieve “comfort” by being too roomy, Tecnica creates comfort and performance through a more anatomical shape. Bravo. From the inside to the outside of the liner and to the closely mated shell shape, careful attention is paid to matching the contours of the foot and lower leg. Testers noted confidence-inspiring accuracy and power through all terrain and snow conditions. Rafferty: “Hugs and snugs all the right places for a medium-volume fit and good power to the edge.”

FINAL SCORE 21.27

ALSO CONSIDER Mach1 120 MV ($720)

Nordica GPX 130

FINAL SCORE 21.57

ALSO CONSIDER Hawx Ultra 90 W ($475)

Rossignol Allspeed Pro 120

FINAL SCORE 21.59

Head Vector Evo 130

ALSO CONSIDER Speedmachine 120 ($699)

FLEX 130 | MSRP $800 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 120 | MSRP $700 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 130 | MSRP $799 | WIDTH N M W

Somebody found a gym and turned into a ripped stud. The new Vector Evo sports a new, stiffer-plastic shell (now it’s a legit 130 flex) and a robust new liner that fits real skiers. It’s a touch on the strong/snug side of the medium-fit target, but testers were fine with that. More than a few said they would consider abandoning their narrow-fit rides for the Evo 130’s blend of strength, agility, and comfort. Crumpler: “It’s almost too comfy, considering how strong it skied. Pretty hard to beat.”

Testers said this is how a high-performance, medium-width boot should fit. It’s snug at the ankle and heel for strong power transmission. It’s a touch relaxed over the forefoot, providing better warmth and reducing the chance of numbing nerve impingement. A bit of open space at the toe box and calf provides comfort and allows it to fit a variety of foot shapes. The cushioned, progressive flex begs the pilot to bang out short turns and hammer the bumps. Gabriel: “Creamy smooth and well balanced, with catlike reflexes.”

Here’s an inspiring blend of old-school, racebred power and precision combined with modern liner construction and straightforward, functional features. There’s a tiny bit of breathing room in the toe box, but everything else is locked down tight. Skiing performance is most definitely priority number one. The boot actually makes ski edges feel sharper by virtue of its unyielding power transmission to the ski. Think it, do it. For serious skiers only. Hoffmann: “A real ski boot. Great stance, power, and quickness.”

ALSO CONSIDER Vector Evo 120 ($700)

94

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

ALSO CONSIDER Allspeed Pro 110 ($650)

ALSO CONSIDER GPX 120 ($699)

Men’s

Women’s


UNLIMITED

ALL MOUNTAIN

EXPERIENCE THE BEST BLEND OF VERSATILITY, PERFORMANCE AND FIT

PANTERRA 120

MY FIT 100% customizable shell and liner system, tuned especially to your needs

SKI / HIKE Switch seamlessly to walk mode to allow greater range of motion for uphill hiking or walking

VARIABLE VOLUME FIT Exclusive Dalbello technology allowing the toe buckle to adjust the forefoot last width from 102mm to 100mm.

DYNALINK BUCKLE Our unique heel/instep closure strap provides positive foothold and minimizes heel lift for better power transfer and comfort.

CABRIO 3-PIECE DESIGN

DALBELLOSPORTS.COM


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s & women’s boots

FINAL SCORE 21.25

Fischer Trinity 110 Vacuum Full FF

FINAL SCORE 21.27

Rossignol Allspeed 100

FINAL SCORE 21.27

Rossignol Allspeed Elite 130

All-Mountain Traditional

FLEX 130 | MSRP $850 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 100 | MSRP $500 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 110 | MSRP $850 | WIDTH N M W

The Elite 130 is ready, willing, and able to tackle all terrain and snow challenges with a lightweight but powerful feel on edge. The upright cuff quickly engages the ski tip with just the slightest of moves to the boot front. Testers felt the 130 flex index was right on target, with a firm but springy feel from turn to turn. It fits tight, as a 98-mm last should, but without pressure points or hot spots. Kipp: “Powerful to the edge, with plenty of support all around. Responds quickly to input. Fun to ski.”

Badged as a midpowered 100-flex, this high-value model competed with zeal and tallied marks that made it one of the very best boots of the test. The 102-mm last fits a meatier foot without sacrificing snugness in the control zones. It has a softer-feeling flex than the stouter models in the category, but there’s a plenty-firm stopping point along with solid lateral transmission. Cohen: “For the bigger foot it fits, this value model is toptier. Does pretty much what the 130 does for $250 less.”

The Trinity’s fit can be substantially modified with Fischer’s Vacuum shell-molding process. The out-of-the-box stance of this low-volume charger is way forward. Testers highly recommend Vacuum-molding it in the 14-degree forward-lean setting. They liked the energetic, snappy flex feel. It’s lightweight and lively from turn to turn, supporting expert-level moves with plenty of horsepower. F. Dardani: “The plastic feels very reactive. Fun and playful in all types of terrain and snow.”

FINAL SCORE 20.60

ALSO CONSIDER n/a

DaleBoot ST

FINAL SCORE 20.93

ALSO CONSIDER Allspeed 130 ($750)

K2 Spyne 130 LV

FINAL SCORE 21.25

Lange RX 110 W

ALSO CONSIDER Allspeed Elite 110 ($800)

FLEX 110 | MSRP $700 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 130 | MSRP $800 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 120/130 | MSRP $825 | WIDTH n/a

The RX is a tester favorite in the mediumwidth group. It gets a cosmetic makeover but is otherwise unchanged. The glovelike grip is noticeably firm on the heel and ankle with welcome room over the top of the foot and in the toe box. Entry and exit are a little harder than average for the category, but from first push-off to liftmaze arrival, it’s locked and loaded, ready to explode into turns. Carr: “So smooth. I was balanced perfectly over both feet and in control at all times.”

Strong fit, sturdy on-snow performance, easy customization: That’s the Spyne 130 LV, a low-volume that means it. The fit relaxes a bit simply by skiing, but testers recommend custom-molding the liner, which makes a big difference. The Spyne is powerful, but you can feather the power on and off. Drift, skivot, roll ’em up high on edge and rail—this boot obeys commands and constantly exceeds expectations. Astle: “Awesomely strong. Never gives up in a turn. Very athletic, it controls the ski well and reacts quickly.”

DaleBoots are custom-built to each owner’s personal foot and leg dimensions. Local dealers take measurements and send them to the factory, where the shell components are tailored. Dealers do final fitting upon delivery. The ST’s on-snow combo of brutishly powerful upper cuff and thin-walled, high-density polyether lower shell yield ridiculously strong edging in a lightweight package. Stewart: “Very powerful with lots of feel for the ski. Very foot-responsive.”

ALSO CONSIDER RX 90 W ($550)

96

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

ALSO CONSIDER n/a

ALSO CONSIDER n/a

Men’s

Women’s


THE OFFICIAL OUTFITTER OF WISH YOU WERE HERE.

TM

Houston + New York + Dallas/Fort Worth + Boston + Austin + D.C. + San Antonio + Atlanta + Charlotte + Tulsa + Nashville + Cincinnati + OKC

DILLY IN CHANTILLY - SKI SALE

FIRST TRACKS NEW YORK - SKI SALE

FIRST TRACKS BOSTON - SKI SALE

Sun & Ski Chantilly, VA - September 23-25

Sun & Ski Plainview, NY - September 30 - October 2

Sun & Ski Pembroke, MA - November 4-6

SUNANDSKI.COM


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s & women’s boots

FINAL SCORE 20.43

Lange SX 90 W

FINAL SCORE 20.50

DaleBoot VFF W

FINAL SCORE 20.58

K2 Spyne 110 HV

All-Mountain Traditional

FLEX 110 | MSRP $650 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 80-100 | MSRP $825 | WIDTH n/a

FLEX 90 | MSRP $550 | WIDTH N M W

This high-volume version offers Spyne sturdiness in a slightly lower-cuffed package— great for shorter, lighter guys who know how to turn it on. Testers unanimously said K2 was fibbing a bit about the HV label; almost all judged it more of a medium-width fit. With its dialed-in K2 stance setup, it makes any turn on any type of snow on any pitch, so long as you have the skills to command it. Blaylock: “A joy to have on. An eventempered 110 flex. It’s nimble and agile in all conditions and turns.”

Targeted to lighter-weight and less aggressive skiers looking for fit perfection, this one hits a bull’s-eye. The shell is custom-made to the user’s foot shape at DaleBoot’s Salt Lake City factory based on measurements taken by local dealers. It’s then shipped to the dealer for final fitting and thermo-forming of the liner. Our test model was light and lively with a uniquely tuned-in feel for the ski and snow. Ross: “Agile and snappy with a smooth flex throughout. This boot rocked.”

Here’s the top-performing wide-fit boot in the category. Even with a generous fit, the SX puts a ski on edge and ranges confidently all over the hill. Its flex is right on target and comfortable against the shin. It’s solid on edge and quick in transitions. It rips in all turns, snow conditions, and terrain. It’s not the easiest boot to get on, but testers said that’s a fair trade-off for the performance. Eastman: “Zing! Snaps into performance mode right out of the gate. Flex is made for dynamic skiing.”

FINAL SCORE 20.24

ALSO CONSIDER SX 80 W ($450)

Salomon X Pro 130

FINAL SCORE 20.33

ALSO CONSIDER n/a

Atomic Hawx Magna 90 W

FINAL SCORE 20.40

Dalbello Luna 80

ALSO CONSIDER Spyne 130 HV ($800)

FLEX 80 | MSRP $400 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 90 | MSRP $475 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 130 | MSRP $850 | WIDTH N M W

Testers have applauded this one alongside boots 30 flex points stiffer and $300 more at the cash register for the last three years running. Built for less aggressive skiers who possess wider feet and ample calves, the Luna knows its job and does it well at a bargain price. It’s roomy everywhere with a skooch of extra space for thicker ankles and heels. Testers said it was a fun and poppy ride no matter where they ventured. Post: “Lovely fit, fabulous balance, steers nicely. So cushy.”

The Hawx Magna is ideal for women with wide feet and bigger calves looking for a comfortable fit and solid all-mountain performance. It doesn’t hurt that it practically puts itself on your foot. Considering its cushiness and massive volume, its snow management skills are strong. Stable lateral balance and an even flex make turn initiations almost automatic. The Power Shift feature can alter the forward-lean angle (three positions) as well as the flex. Ross: “Great, even fit, totally comfortable. Super responsive and consistent.”

Returning like a hard-training middleweight, the X Pro 130 is lighter and stronger than before thanks to polyamide plastic in the lower shell. It wowed testers (as always) with its perfectly even, firm, medium-width fit profile and bankable turn-to-turn dependability. Most testers put it on, skied it, and forgot that it wasn’t their own boot—it’s that user-friendly and comfortable. And an upright stance makes it an off-piste dream. Blaylock: “Snug in all the right places, great in all turns and conditions. An all-day-strong kind of boot.”

ALSO CONSIDER Luna 90 ($475)

98

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

ALSO CONSIDER Hawx Magna 80 W ($350)

ALSO CONSIDER X Pro 120 ($725)

Men’s

Women’s


Feel the Difference


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s & women’s boots

FINAL SCORE 19.90

Nordica Speedmachine 105 W

FINAL SCORE 20.00

Rossignol Pure Pro 100

FINAL SCORE 20.17

Scott G2 120 Powerfit

All-Mountain Traditional

FLEX 120 | MSRP $649 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 100 | MSRP $600 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 105 | MSRP $599 | WIDTH N M W

Skiers with low-volume feet who can’t find boots that are snug enough, swipe right. The G2 120 Powerfit is shorter and narrower than almost every other boot in the narrow category, packing the foot into a balanced and strong position over the ski. It’s surprisingly powerful to the edge for a light-feeling 120 flex. It’s race-boot strong and as quick edge-to-edge as anything we tested. Coulter: “Balance and flex are spoton. Impressive quickness and steering. What’s not to like?”

The Pure Pro is versatile in terms of both fit and performance, testers said. They gave it top marks for fore-aft support, balanced stance, and liner feel (it’s “furry and fun!”). There’s lots of room in the toe box, in the forefoot, and over the top of the foot; it’s snugger aft toward the ankle and heel. Testers found its happy zone ripping in softer snow and making long drawn-out arcs on groomers. Finnen: “Right on the mark, a solid 100 flex. Confident, comfortable ride with a cozy cabin-liner feel.”

The new Speedmachine’s out-of-the-box fit was one of the best of the test, if a bit roomy for a medium-width boot in the toe box and forefoot. Flex travel is long, with well-distributed pressure along the shin. Testers thought it a little softer than its 105 rating, but there’s no shortage of lateral power. It levered the ski onto edge and held it there. Testers were impressed with its speed and hard-snow game. F. Dardani: “Getting forward in this boot was effortless. So confident driving into turns.”

FINAL SCORE 19.00

ALSO CONSIDER Speedmachine 115 W ($699)

Head Advant Edge 85 W

FINAL SCORE 19.44

ALSO CONSIDER Pure Pro 90 ($550)

Nordica GPX 105 W

FINAL SCORE 19.86

Tecnica Mach1 105 W LV

ALSO CONSIDER G2 130 Powerfit ($679)

FLEX 105 | MSRP $720 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 105 | MSRP $699 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 75-85 | MSRP $475 | WIDTH N M W

A narrower version of the well-liked MV, this snug-fitting performer suits aggressive skiers who like it tight and don’t mind the thought of a little boot work. The clever Custom Adaptive Shape features make it easier for bootfitters to dial the fit. On-hill it provided constant control and predictable power. It was strong but not overly aggressive, quick without feeling too twitchy. Post: “Perfect for most advanced skiing women. Superior quickness and out-of-this-world edge power.”

Longer-legged, slender-calved, narrowforefooted rippers will say yes to this address. The GPX responds well to a firm will and skilled movements. It’s powerful but light, quick but stable, relatively even-fitting, with some extra room at the heel. Testers felt the cuff rode a little tall and tight on the calf, and the stance is a bit on the forward-leaning side. Pulling or thinning the spoiler made those issues go away. Christensen: “Aggressive flex yields dynamic turns. Very responsive.”

What a pleasant surprise, testers said. The Advant Edge is roomy and upright, with an open fit that welcomes skiers with large calves. The lower cavity of the liner is well padded for a cushy, easygoing feel. But the comfortable fit belies its talent. Stouter than its advertised 85 flex, it skis joyfully all over the mountain with unflinching confidence. And its low price makes it even more attractive. Carr: “I was blown away by how well it skis. A racer mom’s dream boot.”

ALSO CONSIDER Mach1 95 W LV ($600)

100

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

ALSO CONSIDER GPX 95 W ($599)

ALSO CONSIDER Advant Edge 95 W ($600)

Men’s

Women’s


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s & women’s boots

FINAL SCORE 18.80

Atomic Hawx Prime 100 W

All-Mountain Traditional

FLEX 100 | MSRP $600 | WIDTH N M W The Hawx Prime sets the bar high for medium-width versatility. Medium to wider feet and thicker legs did best in it, but the well-padded Thinsulate liner did a great job of cradling lower-volume feet and legs. Testers loved the feel of the lower boot on snow—the legendary Hawx flexible sole still impresses with how it bends to match the arc of the ski for a deep and lively feel from turn to turn. Revello: “Sophisticated handling for all-day performance—well executed, functional design.”

FINAL SCORE 18.36

Head Vector Evo 110 W

Scott G2 100 M Powerfit

FINAL SCORE 18.50

TESTER Kristina Revello LOCATION Last Chance Lodge, Solitude

FINAL SCORE 18.67

Rossignol Pure Elite 120

ALSO CONSIDER Hawx 90 W ($475)

FLEX 120 | MSRP $700 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 100 | MSRP $549 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 100-110 | MSRP $700 | WIDTH N M W

With a tall cuff, upright stance, and true 120 flex, this boot demands a good skier at the controls. And it doesn’t hurt if she’s taller and stronger than the average cruiser. Testers said the fit is roomier than expected for a narrow-category boot, yet its edge power and stability through variable terrain are peerless. Get over the front of this boot and drive it; you’ll be well rewarded. Post: “A powerhouse with amazing feel for the snow. All the necessary features, nothing more.”

The G2 is a compact assault vehicle for hard-charging women with low-volume feet. It’s tight in the way of a bygone boot era, especially in the toe box and around the forefoot. The liner, which is heat-moldable, opens up a bit after customization, but not a lot. Testers said it launched into turns with no hesitation and inspired confidence without being overly demanding. Topof-class performance at a bargain price. Revello: “Sporty and precise, it screams at you to open up the throttle.”

The Vector Evo combines a silky interior feel with a silky on-snow demeanor. It’s a wellbalanced comfort and performance package that will work for a broad range of mediumwidth feet. Flex is adjustable, and testers encourage good skiers to bump it to the firmer notch. It carves long sweeping arcs and is adept off-piste, but quick turns on firm snow don’t come with slalom alacrity. Johnson: “Strong holding power on steeps with smooth transitions and a supple feel for the snow.”

ALSO CONSIDER n/a

ALSO CONSIDER Vector Evo 90 W ($600)

ALSO CONSIDER Pure Elite 80 ($500)

102

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

Men’s

Women’s


Find Your Next Adventure #YonderOn

IPHONE IMAGE COURTESY OF APPLE

Ski, Eat, Drink and Repeat with @SkiMagazine on Yonder Photo Credit @Kbascetta Skier @KevinLuby

Yonder is an app purpose-built for sharing your wilderness wanderings, summit shots, singletrack rides, and dawn patrol adventures with a community that’s just as psyched about the outdoors as you are.


Buyers Guide 2017

Men’s

men’s & women’s boots

all-mountain

FINAL SCORE 22.25

DaleBoot VFF Pro

FINAL SCORE 22.50

Tecnica Cochise 105 W

FINAL SCORE 22.82

Tecnica Cochise Pro 130

Adventure

At the flip of a hike-mode switch, you’re ready to trek beyond the boundaries in search of fresh snow and untamed terrain. Or, you know, just be a lot more comfortable hanging out in the bar.

FLEX 130 | MSRP $840 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 105 | MSRP $720 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 100-120 | MSRP $825 | WIDTH n/a

The name is the same, but the fit is better and the weight is reduced. The Pro is snug enough to roll as a narrow but shapely enough where it matters to satisfy a mediumwide foot. It’s accurate and poppy, powerful underfoot at high speeds and over all surfaces. Gleason: “A Best of Test contender. Rigged to romp, it’s a virile ski driver, and the hike mode is delightfully effective.”

Tecnica nails the fit with a 99-mm last that accommodates a lot of medium-wide feet. The liner feels cushioned but firm. Anatomical sculpting of the shell and liner combines to provide a welcoming fit at common problem areas. A new shell design creates a lighter yet stronger feel on snow. Carr: “Smooth and powerful, a great hike-mode boot for hardskiing women with narrower feet.”

The VFF Pro, like all DaleBoots, is fully customizable. Local dealers take measurements and send them to the factory, where the components are assembled. The Pro is lightweight with thin shell walls, and testers said it pumped out agile, quick transitions thanks to its snappy flex. J. Weisberg: “I like the concept of a boot that promises to fit with a commitment from the manufacturer.”

FINAL SCORE 20.25

ALSO CONSIDER VFF ($825)

Rossignol Alltrack Pro 110 W

FINAL SCORE 20.69

ALSO CONSIDER Cochise 95 W ($600)

Rossignol Alltrack Pro 130

FINAL SCORE 21.53

Lange XT 130

ALSO CONSIDER Cochise 120 ($720)

FLEX 130 | MSRP $850 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 130 | MSRP $850 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 110 | MSRP $750 | WIDTH N M W

The XT returns unchanged this year, still one of the category’s best. It’s well shaped and nicely padded around bony prominences for a no-hot-spots fit. It hovers just to the snug side of medium-fit tension scores. The long-travel, spring-loaded flex generates energy and pop with every turn. Coulter: “Rocks like a Lange race boot but with better off-piste ability. A contender for Best of Test.”

Unchanged and still a tester favorite, the Alltrack Pro lacks long travel in hike mode but absolutely lays waste on the descent. It skis well in all conditions, turn radii, speeds, and terrain. An exceptionally capable in-area machine with a skiing- rather than hiking-focused backcountry mien. Gabriel: “Rossi just nails the fit without any custom flash magic. It’s neutral, even, smooth, responsive, fun.”

A go-anywhere, do-anything luxury SUV with a plush interior. Long and fairly open in the toe box, it tapers nicely toward the rear, gripping with padding that’s firm enough to do the job well. Testers applauded the predictable and smooth edge-to-edge roll and the stable platform. Poore: “Fits a wide range of feet. Take it for a cruise or hammer down; at home in both modes.”

ALSO CONSIDER XT 120 ($750)

104

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

ALSO CONSIDER Alltrack Pro 120 ($750)

ALSO CONSIDER Alltrack Pro 100 W ($600)

Men’s

Women’s


TESTER Mark Elling LOCATION Honeycomb Canyon, Solitude

Our Testers Large, medium, and small; rippers all. STEVE COHEN CEO, Masterfit Enterprises; co-founder of SKI’s boot test

ERIK KORMAN Manager, Gravity Sports, Mt. Bachelor; boot test HQ fixer

MARK ELLING Director of education, Masterfit University; boot test coordinator; bootfitter, Gravity Sports, Mt. Bachelor

MIKE EVANS Boot tester for SKI since 1988; USSA Level 400 coach

JEFF RICH President, Masterfit Enterprises; co-founder of SKI’s boot test BOB GLEASON President and founder of BootDoctors, Inc.; senior instructor, MFU; magazine boot tester since 1987 GREG HOFFMANN Owner, Ski Boot Fitting, Inc.; instructor, MFU NICK BLAYLOCK Founder, head bootfitter, Mount Snow Boot Works; instructor, MFU CHARLIE BRADLEY Veteran bootfitter, BootDoctors; instructor, MFU JACK RAFFERTY Owner/operator, Thotics Inc. at Aspen Sports Snowmass Mall; instructor, MFU MARC STEWART Head bootfitter, Windham Mountain Sports Boot Lab; instructor, MFU BILL HAIGHT Owner/operator, Green Mountain Orthotic Lab; instructor, MFU BOB EGELAND Owner, Boulder Orthotics at Neptune Mountaineering; instructor, MFU PAT SULLIVAN Pedorthist bootfitter, Jackson Hole Sports; instructor, MFU

KEVIN GABRIEL Bootfitter, Gravity Sports, Mt. Bachelor; instructor, MFU EMILY POORE Bootfitter and salesperson, Gravity Sports, Mt. Bachelor LIZ ELLING Former ski instructor and snowcat driver; inventory manager, boot test après bar stocker LEE ANN ROSS Former Foreign Service officer; PSIA Level III instructor MEGAN JOHNSON Manager, Race Place, Bend; USSA Level 100 coach, Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation AMY POST PSIA Level III instructor; supervisor, Snowbasin Snowsports, Utah JULIA CARR PSIA Level II instructor and children’s specialist, Mt. Bachelor Gravity School KRISTINA REVELLO PSIA Level I instructor; USSA Level 200 coach, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail EMMA CHRISTENSEN PSIA Level II instructor; head coach, Telluride Telemark Team FILOMENA DARDANI Former USSA and FIS-level racer; Stratton Mountain School alumna

More testers, page 108

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

105


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s & women’s boots

FINAL SCORE 19.67

Dalbello Kyra 95

FINAL SCORE 19.78

K2 Pinnacle Pro

FINAL SCORE 19.92

Scarpa Freedom RS 130

All-Mountain Adventure

FLEX 130 | MSRP $829 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 130 | MSRP $950 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 95 | MSRP $600 | WIDTH N M W

Here’s a balanced mix of light weight, smooth touring range of motion, and exceptional skiability. The Freedom RS is billed as a medium-wide 101-mm last, but testers marked it as low volume pretty much everywhere, especially in the heel. It sets the bar for uphill ease among alpinesoled touring boots while still displaying strong downhill skills. The revamped liner is firm and performance-oriented but comfortable on the shin. Gleason: “Solid to the edge; potent enough for the biggest skis.”

A pretty snug medium, the Pinnacle Pro fits especially close at the instep, ankle, and navicular bone, testers said. The toe box is wide. It’s surprisingly strong on edge given its lightweight all-Pebax construction. Testers hammered it all over and couldn’t ever push it to edge-grip failure, though a few of the heavier testers thought that the flex maxed out under heavy loads. The hike mechanism offers a huge range of motion and is smooth both fore and aft. Astle: “An awesome, athletic boot.”

From blue squares to easy black diamonds to the barstool, this was a tester favorite for its versatility and instant success on snow. It’s so evenly roomy, testers checked its fit scores in straight rows. It goes everywhere willingly and is game for a challenge. With a soft-side-of-95 flex, it’s not for heavy, hard-charging, all-mountain attackers, but it will work well for everyone else. Christensen: “Felt like a powerful, supportive hug. I could ski these all day, all over the mountain.”

FINAL SCORE 19.29

ALSO CONSIDER Kyra 85 ($550)

Dalbello Lupo Carbon Ti I.D.

FINAL SCORE 19.36

ALSO CONSIDER Pinnacle 130 ($850)

Dalbello Panterra 120

FINAL SCORE 19.50

DaleBoot VFF Pro

ALSO CONSIDER Freedom SL 120 ($749)

FLEX 100-120 | MSRP $825 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 120 | MSRP $650 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 130 | MSRP $1,100 | WIDTH N M W

The women’s VFF Pro, which we tested as a narrow, excelled in fit, performance, and the custom-fitting process. It’s built to match each owner’s personal foot and leg dimensions, which are recorded by local dealers. Fit equals performance, so all the tailoring generated high quickness scores and comments about “accurate steering” and “confident heel hold” in tricky situations. Post: “Having trouble finding an off-the-shelf fit that works? Consider DaleBoot. It’s perfect.”

The Panterra is a stout boot for big, strong skiers with thicker feet and legs, yet it’s agile as a big cat and powerful in a quiet, damp sort of way. The cuff is roomy and tall on the leg shaft and has a firm flex. It’s engineered to best suit taller guys. The Panterra is powerful on edge, it’s comfortable and trustworthy at high speeds, and testers admired the shock-absorbing feel. Campbell: “Surprisingly nimble in and out of turns for such a solid boot. A joy in crud and bumps.”

The Lupo offers lots of useful and welldesigned features, a narrow fit, and a stiff flex. Yes, it’s expensive, but testers say it’s worth every dollar if you mold the I.D. liner—a comfort must. Laced-up entry and exit aren’t easy, but testers accepted the processes because the skiing product was worth the effort. The tall, strong cuff readily rolled the ski up on edge and put the hammer down when engaged. Barr: “Great sidecountry boot for all narrow-footed rippers. Super light and responsive.”

ALSO CONSIDER VFF ($825)

106

SKI MAGAZINE

ALSO CONSIDER Panterra 130 I.D. ($800)

{ September 2016 }

ALSO CONSIDER Lupo Ti I.D. ($950)

Men’s

Women’s


OFFICIAL SPONSORS OF A M E R I C A ’ S

B E S T

Supplying our test with

BOOTFITTERS.COM

the very best

BOOT TEST

products and services Platinum

Our Boot Test Command & Party Center! Great snow and uncrowded, big mountain skiing. Steps away from a welcoming mountain village, minutes away from downtown Salt Lake. skisolitude.com

Gold

IN S O L E S

Game improvement aftermarket insoles. Better fit. More comfort. Improved balance. Increased warmth. Yes, insoles do all that and more. Available at America’s Best Bootfitters shops. masterfitinc.com Best boot bag on the planet. Isosceles triangle design perfectly distributes weight and maximizes storage. transpack.net

Leaders in ski and snowboard glove safety, style and warmth technology. levelgloves.com Details matter. Hand-assembled helmets that combine unique impact management technology with superior fit and styling. prethelmets.com Trigger S technology eliminates cumbersome pole straps! Provides a safe, secure releasable link between hand and grip. leki.com

The next generation of face protection. Wind-resistant, helmet-friendly technology. bsbrand.com

Silver Maker of classic and colorful ski beanies and lifestyle headwear. discreteclothing.com

Boots stay toasty warm all day with Foot Warmers Power Plus. hotronic.com

R

The leaders in boot & glove drying systems, battery-powered handwarmers and insulated boot wraps. dryguy.net

Rockered sole walkers skiskootys.com

Tester fuel! Delicious readyto-eat oatmeal fruit squeezes packed with grains & fruit bites. munkpak.com

Performance merino wool ski socks. All-American from materials to manufacturing to packaging. farmtofeet.com

Insulated stainless steel bottles keep beverages hot when it’s cold, cold when it’s hot. hydroflask.com

Apres Ski Hosts .

Great food, drink and atmosphere at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Live music. thehogwallow.com

Free shuttle from Solitude Village. silverforklodge.com


Buyers Guide 2017 men’s & women’s boots

FINAL SCORE 18.73

Roxa X-Face 120

FINAL SCORE 18.75

Fischer Hybrid W 10+ Vacuum Full Fit

FINAL SCORE 19.29

Salomon QST Pro 130

All-Mountain Adventure

FLEX 130 | MSRP $850 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 100 | MSRP $700 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 120 | MSRP $750 | WIDTH N M W

Some loved the spacey look; others were less enthusiastic. The distinctive Endofit tongue construction is not quite overlap but it’s also not a classic three-piece design. It has a tricky entry and it fits very close along the top of the foot. On snow, the QST moves well laterally, weaving in and out of turns with a silky lightweight touch. Agile and accurate side-toside moves were best executed with finesse rather than an aggressive assault. Harper: “A predictable, lightweight powerhouse with outstanding heel hold.”

We’ve tested Fischer’s Vacuum technology before and it works great. This year no Vac system was available during test camp so we tested the boot stock. Our testers, many of whom ski regularly in narrow boots, liked its starting-point 98-mm width just fine. Post-Vacuum, it can grow to a whopping 108 mm. Testers liked the lateral pop and energy, especially on smooth surfaces. Quick and tactile, it’s sensitive underfoot and fast to react. Christensen: “Fun, agile boot. Able to make fast, dynamic turns with confidence.”

The X-Face is a shock-absorbing off-piste specialist with a ton of useful features, and testers were stunned by its power transmission to the edge—best Roxa ever, they said. The lightweight spiral-wrap Intuition liner pairs with a clean hike mode and Dynafit tech fittings to offer options beyond the area boundary. Way roomier in the toe box and forefoot than expected for 99-mm, but it tapers to a snug fit in the rear foot. Barr: “Fun boot. Playful but serious on edge; strong but light enough to get around quickly.”

FINAL SCORE 17.00

ALSO CONSIDER Hybrid W 9+ Vacuum ($600)

K2 BFC 90 W

FINAL SCORE 17.88

Scarpa Freedom SL 120 W

ALSO CONSIDER QST Pro 120 ($725)

FLEX 120 | MSRP $749 | WIDTH N M W

FLEX 90 | MSRP $550 | WIDTH N M W

A Pebax shell and Intuition liner give the Freedom SL a featherweight feel on the foot. A stiff carbon-fiber rail in the lower gives it the backbone of a race-capable boot. It easily finds an edge and powers arcs on even the hardest snow. Testers said full liner molding, at least, is required if you expect to wear this narrow-feeling “medium” boot in comfort. However, they all agreed it’s well worth the effort. F. Dardani: “Sets the benchmark for stability and power in a lightweight touring package. Hiking was effortless.”

K2’s marketers got this just right: “Designed for women looking for comfort all day, from the morning in the parking lot to the afternoon in the lodge.” Testers said amen to that. It’s big, they felt, with room everywhere and plenty of cushioning for thick-footed women or those looking for a moderately relaxed fit. The 90 flex held its own, maybe even punching above its weight class, testers said. L. Elling: “Cushy, comfortable, easy to use. Super warm and skied well.”

ALSO CONSIDER Freedom 100 W ($549)

108

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

ALSO CONSIDER BFC 80 W ($450)

ALSO CONSIDER X-Face 100 ($625)

More Testers

Continued from page 105 » Chris Wiberg, Ski Boot Fitting, Inc. of Vail (CO) » Jeff Harper, Ski Boot Fitting, Inc. of Vail (CO) » Larry Fisher, Ski & Bow Rack (CO) » Kevin Anderson, Ski & Bow Rack (CO) » Garrick Dardani, Steiner’s Sport (NY) » Jeff “J.C.” Costales, Summit Ski Shop (MA) » Peter Maranto, Summit Ski Shop (MA) » Dallas Goldsmith, Goldsmith’s Board Shop (CA) » Stacey Crumpler, Goldsmith’s Board Shop (CA) » Jim Morris, Goldsmith’s Board Shop (CA) » Eric Kipp, California Ski Co. (CA) » Eric Goshay, California Ski Co. (CA) » Greg Coulter, Next Adventure (OR) » Keith Holmquist, The Pro Ski & Ride (NY) » Eino Holm, Grizzly Tunes, Snowbasin (UT) » Andrew Barr, Loon Snowsports School (NH) » Justin Campbell, Loon Development Team (NH) » Joe Driscoll, Richelson’s Feet First (NH) » Jeremy Johnston, Boot Mechanics (CO) » Jorge Yengle, Leader, Boy Scout Troop 349 (NY) » Jason Astle, Snowbird Sports Education Foundation (UT)

» Russ Jackson, former racer and coach (UT) » Jon Weisberg, seniorsskiing.com » Kelly Finnen, Vail Resorts Retail, Northstar (CA) » Courtney Winegar, Snowbasin Snowsports School (UT)

» Renee Globis, Solitude (UT) » Allie Clark, Boot Mechanics (CO) » Pam Weisberg, seniorsskiing.com » Sharron Eastman, PSIA Level III, Sunday River (ME)

Men’s

Women’s


ALL THE GEAR YOU NEED FOR STEAMBOAT TO STOWE.

it e d t im e Fo r a l im o m / s k im a g .c v is it s k is e c e iv e a f r e e and r k i so c k s . pa ir o f s

NO MATTER WHERE YOU RIDE, YOU NEED QUALITY GEAR. SKIS.COM OFFERS YOU THE GREATEST SELECTION OF EQUIPMENT, OUTWEAR, AND ACCESSORIES, TAKING YOU FROM THE STREETS TO THE SLOPES FOR OVER 25 YEARS. SKIS.COM PROVIDES GUARANTEED FIT FOR SKI BOOTS, ONLINE JUNIOR RENTAL PROGRAM, AND FREE BINDING MOUNTING.*

*Some exclusions apply. Safety testing must be performed in a shop. See site for details. Free sock offer is for a limited time only. Quantities are limited.

SKIS • BOOTS • ACCESSORIES • SNOWBOARDS • KIDS GEAR • OUTERWEAR • CLOTHING • TRAVEL GEAR


Buyers Guide 2017

Apparel & Accessories

Slope Style You know you want it: the season’s best ski jackets, pants, midlayers, helmets, packs, and more—right here, right now. BY SAMANTHA BERMAN AND GREG DITRINCO | COMPOSITE IMAGES BY KERI BASCETTA. SCENIC PHOTOS BY ANDREW STRAIN

WOMEN’S JACKET & PANTS

Scott Vertic 2L Jacket and Bib Cold all the time? Then this set should be in your closet. Down-filled to the tune of 650-fill, the Vertic Jacket is Scott’s solution to the resort freeride equation with its powder skirt, helmetcompatible hood, pit vents, thumb-hole cuffs, and hand-warmer pockets. The fixed-bib pants have adjustable suspenders and comfy elastic down the back, and it’s insulated at the knees and rump for warmer chairlift rides. Also available in men’s. Jacket $360, pants $280 HELMET

Giro Strata MIPS The new Strata takes a hybrid approach to helmet construction, combining the durability of a hardshell upper with the lightweight comfort of an in-mold lower. Extra credit earned for MIPS protection, an integrated camera mount, and an active venting system. $200 GOGGLE

Zeal Voyager The Voyager is a no-nonsense goggle for your weekend kit. Its rimless design cuts weight and gives you a wide-eye view of your next pow stash. Multiple lens options will cut through changing conditions. Dual strap adjustments will keep it as tight as your tree line. $160 GLOVES

Helly Hansen Covert We like a glove that does just enough and not a thing more. The elegantly minimalist Covert serves up a supersupple goatskin shell, touch-capable fingertips, PrimaLoft Gold insulation, and tight wrist cinches. We’re also partial to glove pull-on tabs. Isn’t everyone? $140

110

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


MEN’S JACKET & PANTS

Salomon QST Guard Jacket and Pants On cold days, put your Guard up. Packed with 40gram PrimaLoft insulation and armed with Salomon’s AdvancedSkin Dry outer fabric plus taped seams and waterproof zips, this is the all-mountain kit you’ll want when the weather turns ugly. Designed with Motion Fit technology, both jacket and pants move with you, not against you. Bells and whistles? You bet: helmet-compatible hood, thumb-loop cuffs, removable powder skirt, pass pocket, leg vents, and more. Also available in women’s. Jacket $400, pants $300 HELMET

Marker Phoenix Carbon You want lightweight? You want carbon construction. The new Phoenix Carbon will have you patting your head on the lift to see if you forgot your helmet. Dual vents are on top, with a sizing wheel in the back. The conspicuously low-tech elastic goggle keeper just plain works. $279 GOGGLE

Marker 16:10+ Marker designs goggles with safety in mind. The new 16:10+ features a shockabsorbing layer between the frame and the interior face foam. Its large frame delivers a large view of the world, and its full 45-mm strap just might be the widest you’ll find to keep your goggles from slipping. $179 GLOVES

Hestra Army Leather Patrol We’re not clear on the army angle, as the Leather Patrol exemplifies Hestra’s classic fusion of serious performance with sophisticated style. A textured dobby fabric back combined with luxurious fine leather construction is fit for fashion coverage—but also right at home charging down the hill. $130

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

111


Buyers Guide 2017 apparel & accessories

Shell Game

Minimalists and backcountry bombers take note: These non-insulated jackets and pants will keep you in (snow) business.

WOMEN’S

MEN’S

WOMEN’S

MEN’S

Sweet Protection Salvation Jacket and Pants

Obermeyer Supernova Shell and Peak Pants

Spyder Eiger Shell and Norwand Bib

Arc’teryx Sphene Jacket and Stinger Pants

The Norwegian company has been around for a while but is pretty new to the snow-sports industry in the States. It’s worth checking out and this women’s freeride kit is testament. Its three-layer Gore construction is supple and easy to move around in, and the tuck-away powder skirt, helmet-compatible hood, and generous pit zips attest to its comfort level in variable conditions. Jacket $530, pants $420

Obermeyer does details. Proof: the Supernova, a seam-sealed three-layer shell with a removable stretch powder skirt, two-way waterproof front zipper, interior mesh goggle pocket, and electronics pocket with wire port. The Peak Pants—with articulated knees, two-way full-leg zippers, and integrated adjustable belt— snap into the shell. This kit has so many bells and whistles, it just might play you a song. Jacket $450, pants $270

We know, you were meant to stand out in the crowd. But these pieces aren’t just pretty faces. Made with Pertex Shield 360 Degree Stretch fabric, the shell sports a snap-back removable powder skirt, pit vents, and a mesh goggle pocket, while the Norwand Bib sits comfortably at the upper waist thanks to adjustable suspenders. Thigh vents, scuff guards, and articulated knees round out the offerings. Go ahead, be seen. Jacket $500, pants $450

Even though it’s super-lightweight at 15.2 ounces, the Sphene retains a good number of ski-jacket niceties, such as roomy pockets— even one with an integrated pass holder—a helmet-compatible hood, pit zips, a powder skirt, and Arc’s new RS zipper, which self-seals when fully zipped. The Stinger Pants add thigh zips, double-sided leg zips, a large pocket for skins, and durable scuff guards to the mix. Jacket $649, pants $499

112

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


WOMEN’S

MEN’S

WOMEN’S

MEN’S

The North Face FuseForm Brigandine Jacket and Pants

Eider Shaper Jacket and Presten Pants

Flylow Leonore Jacket and Daisy Pants

Marmot La Meije Jacket and Pants

Made for all-season play in the steep and deep, the Brigandine boasts jacquard reinforcements in two different thicknesses at spots prone to abrasion—lower sleeves, side panels, elbows, etc. Seam placement gives consideration to backpacks, and the helmetcompatible hood, pit vents, thumb loops, and waterproof pockets— including a nice big one on the pant leg—make this the freeride kit to beat. Also available in men’s. Jacket $499, pants $499

Ever tried to zip your jacket collar during a storm to find you can’t get it past your neck warmer? Meet the Shaper Jacket, featuring the ergonomic Fix a Shape zipper from YKK. Utilizing a concave curve, the zipper—along with the Shaper’s extended collar—zips up and around your chin, with room to spare. The lightly insulated Presten Pants have thigh vents to dump heat plus loops that connect to the jacket. Jacket $550, pants $210

A freeride-inspired shell with a fit to match, the Leonore Jacket pounds the backcountry with passion. Both jacket and pants are made with a two-layer stretch polyester and treated with DWR for water resistance. The jacket’s moisture-wicking liner helps regulate temperature while generous 12-inch pit vents dump heat as needed. The Daisy pants are lightly insulated for those of us who run cold. Jacket $255, pants $225

The Meije moves with you wherever you want to go, no matter the conditions. It’s 100 percent seam taped with water-resistant zippers, pockets, and vents. A helmetcompatible hood, zip-off powder skirt, and high-volume gear pocket speak to its ability outside the gates, while extras such as mesh sunglass and goggle pouches are thoughtful. The Meije Pants sport a removable softshell bib with adjustable suspenders. Jacket $550, pants $450

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

113


Buyers Guide 2017 apparel & accessories

MEN’S JACKET & PANTS

Mammut Andalo Jacket and Bormeo Pants Swiss brand Mammut is known for its technical climbing apparel and equipment, so we wanted to see what the company could do for a traditional resort set. We weren’t disappointed. The Andalo’s combination of Mammut’s trademark Dry Tech outer fabric combined with synthetic insulation in the body and arms is of course super warm, but it’s also surprisingly breathable in warmer conditions. The Bormeo Pants complement with slightly lighter insulation, side mesh vents, and a roomy thigh pocket. Jacket $350, pants $250 HELMET

Sweet Protection Grimner TE Wearing this state-of-theart beast is like having a double-hull skull. The shell is made of a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer, which has a serious strength-toweight ratio. The Grimner TE ramps up the protection with MIPS technology, and its camera mounts are reinforced so they don’t punch through in a crash. $450 GOGGLE

Dragon X2s We like the Swiftlock lens-change system in the X2s. And the non-foam venting (what Dragon calls “armored”) is a smart move, making for easy goggle cleaning after a header in the deep stuff—which is a chore we hope you have all season. $220 GLOVES

Flylow Blaster Although it’s modeled on Flylow’s signature workglove design, the word we like to describe the Blaster is “harmony.” It has the durability and dexterity of a leather work glove but the warmth of a mountain slayer. Wraparound Velcro wrist cinches and full thumb nose wipes are the details we expect from Flylow. $99

114

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


Comin’ In Hot

This season’s top insulated apparel is ready to rock the resort from first chair to après-ski.

WOMEN’S

MEN’S

WOMEN’S

MEN’S

Patagonia Snowbelle Jacket and Pants

Columbia Shreddin’ Jacket and Zip-Down Pants

Helly Hansen Sogn Jacket and Backbowl Cargo Pants

We love this jacket for its warmth, its flattering fit, and this awesome black-and-white nature print that’s right at home on the slopes. (The Snowbelle Jacket also comes in solid and two-tone colorways.) We also dig the silky taffeta lining that makes this resort jacket so easy to pull on and slide off. The coordinating pants will keep you cozy on lift rides and are articulated for better range of motion. Jacket $299, pants $199

Columbia comes through with a dependable and handsome resort kit for a reasonable price—and the technology to stand behind it. Employing an Omni-Heat reflective liner, the four-way-stretch shell retains its wearer’s heat while the Omni-Tech outer fabric keeps him dry. The Zip-Down Pants enjoy the same Omni technologies but up the game with articulated knees, leg zips and vents, and an adjustable waist. Jacket $400, pants $250

Bergans of Norway Kongsberg Jacket and Gautefall Pants An insulated softshell made for skiing? Yes, please. PrimaLoft Gold Active provides the cozy while a four-way-stretch polyester outer fabric is water-resistant and easy to move in. The two-layer Gautefall Pants are just as easy to wear as the jacket, with their four-way-stretch, waterproof, windproof outer fabric, full-leg vent zips, and high back panel. Also available in men’s. Jacket $239, pants $249

The Sogn is an ideal resort jacket. Insulated with PrimaLoft Silver and vented by Helly’s H2Flow system, this freeride-length coat adjusts to the conditions and keeps its wearer at just the right temperature. Features include a powder skirt that snaps into the pants, a high collar, and a handy goggle chamois. The Backbowl pants rock the cargo styling in just the slouchy, relaxed manner that’s expected of them. Jacket $350, pants $280

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

115


Buyers Guide 2017 apparel & accessories

Middle Schooled

You’ll reach for these midlayers on and off the slopes. We promise.

WOMEN’S MIDLAYER

Kari Traa Hege Midlayer Jacket The Hege jacket from Norwegian brand Kari Traa is a soft and supple polyelastane blend with breathable panels where you need them. And the high-vis color schemes make it a staple off the slopes too. $85 SKIRT

Skhoop Mini Down This cute-as-pie 600-fill down skirt adds a pop of fun to any outfit. $139 MITTS

Hestra Narpes The plush new Narpes, with velvety soft leather, raised seams, and a removable wool liner, will permanently spoil your hands for your winter wanderings. Just don’t tell your toes. $125 HAT

Dakine Kylie A classic, chunky ribbed-knit hat with cozy fleece liner, the Kylie—and its adorable faux-fur pom—add sass your winter wardrobe. $25

MEN’S

MEN’S

Columbia Northern Comfort Hoody

Eider Ampezzo PrimaLoft Half-Zip

Guys, you’ll live in this sweatshirt. Targeted down fill on the chest uses Columbia’s Heat Seal technology, which replaces stitched baffles with thermal bonding to keep the down in place and retain more warmth. And the water-resistant outer fabric blocks out moisture. What more do you need? $90

Grab this piece on cold, active days. The Ampezzo breathes, wicks, and insulates with PrimaLoft, drying with authority. And the half-zip design allows for easy temperature regulation on the go. $120

MEN’S

WOMEN’S

WOMEN’S

Flylow Dexter Jacket

Mammut Flexidown Jacket

Marmot Furiosa Half-Zip

What’s super light, very warm, and green all over? The Dexter. Weighing in at 340 grams and filled with eco-friendly insulation made from recycled plastic, the versatile Dexter rocks as a cold-weather midlayer beneath your favorite shell or an around-town pull-on on chilly nights. It also stuffs into its own internal pocket. Easy peasy. $200

We dig the look and fit of this spunky little insulation piece. Designed to flatter, the Flexidown’s slim fit complements its tech specs: Pertex Microlight face fabric conceals 750-fill goose down, with stretch panels down the sides and arms for pure comfort and a dash of breathability. Active insulation at its very best. $250

Great colors, flattering fit, unique styling. The Furiosa is our female staffers’ new go-to for just about everything on and off the slopes. Marmot’s Thermal R insulation provides the warmth, while a cozy stretch fleece fits like a second skin. Add in the requisite thumb loops and hand-warmer pockets, and you’ll find yourself reaching for this most mornings. $165

116

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

BOOTS

Sorel Joan of Arctic Warm, waterproof, and crowned with a small mammal’s worth of faux fur, the Joans are post-ski-boot pampering at its finest. Your feet will thank you. $180


MEN’S

WOMEN’S

MEN’S

Obermeyer Spectrum Jacket

Salomon Drifter Reversible Hoody

The North Face Desolation Thermoball

Stretch insulation. Now there’s an idea. This innovative jacket is filled with it—80 grams of VX Stretch Insulation, to be specific. Worn under Ober’s Supernova Shell or even on its own on mild days, the Spectrum is a dream to ski in. It moves with you so effortlessly, it’s like you’re not wearing anything. Which would be weird. So wear this. $229

Options: The more the better, right? The versatile Drifter Hoody gives you two great ones. Wear it shiny-side-out for wind protection and maximum warmth, or stretchy-side-out on more-active outings where breathability is key. Win-win. Also available in men’s. $180

Thermoball. It even sounds warm. And it is. Thermoball is a PrimaLoft insulator that’s lightweight, lofty, and warm—even in soggy weather, making the Desolation midlayer a go-to for all conditions. Don’t need it? It stores inside its own front pocket. Also available in women’s. $199

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

117


Buyers Guide 2017 apparel & accessories

Pack It In Sometimes life is a load. There’s no reason your playtime should be. Arva Explorer 18 The new bite-size Explorer 18 is designed for short to medium tours but is right at home doing lift laps at your hometown hill. Pack construction carries the load snug to your body to minimize back bang. Goggle stash, hydration sleeve, and just enough zipped pockets make it all work, as does the affordable price. $80

Dakine Poacher Ras 26L Dakine has been our go-to daypack for years. Now it’s entering the booming airbag category with its new Poacher series. A removable airbag system (sold separately), back-panel access, a lined goggle stash, tool pockets, and a helmet carry bring Dakine’s tradition of thoughtful design to an enthusiastic new market. $200

Deuter Freerider 26 The Freerider pre-organizes your stuff, so just follow along. There are two front pockets: one designed for your first-aid kit, the other for safety gear. The stretch side pockets hug your goodies in place. And straps have stowaway garages to reduce annoying strap flap. $139

Mammut Nirvana Rocker 14L Chances are you spend more time on light excursions than heavy-duty adventures. The new, just-enough, 14-liter Nirvana Rocker gets it. The front pack holds your avy safety kit, with a diagonal ski-carrying system handling your sticks. The main cargo compartment, with real-world dividers, makes the Nirvana a solid, easy-toting airport companion too. $90

Ortovox Tour Rider 28 S Targeted for big day tours, the new 28 S has plenty of room for softgoods stowage, with an extensive internal architecture of zipped pockets, gear stashes, and tool loops to keep your stuff where it belongs. And we continue to love Ortovox’s robust back padding and comfy move-with-you pack construction. $139

Salomon QST Lab 35L You have big plans. The QST 35L is there for you. A cavernous main cargo department will handle anything you throw at it. A long vertical front zip offers full access to your particulars. And the oversize pulls and top handle are designed for gloved hands— imagine that. $200

118

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


WOMEN’S JACKET

Mountain Hardwear Barnsie Jacket This sweet, sassy, and stripey insulated number has all the right stuff for a great resort jacket. It’s waterproof and breathable thanks to MH’s Dry.Q tech, and it’s toasty on cold days compliments of Thermal.Q synthetic insulation. Choose from four funky colors to suit your mountain mood. $275 HELMET

K2 Virtue With an emphasis on hybrid shell construction and goggle integration, the new women’s Virtue is at the top of the K2 helmet food chain. The hybrid shell looks to combine the lightweight and venting benefits of in-mold construction with the durability of a traditional hardshell. Audio is integrated, and the updated removable liner gives you winter and summer options. $160 GOGGLE

K2 Source Z The fewer decisions we need to make on snow, the better. That’s why we like the new Source Z, which comes with Transitions lenses. The goggles’ tint changes along with the conditions. Your skiing, of course, remains consistently amazing. $145

Bucket List

The only reason not to upgrade your helmet is if you have a really thick skull. You decide.

Atomic Automatic LF 3D

Oakley Mod 5 Whiteout

Pret Lyric X

Uvex Jimm Octo+

Automatic helmet sizing is an innovation in helmets this season. Atomic’s Live Fit 3D padding surrounds and molds to your head, aspiring to a snugger—and safer— fit on the fly. Wider air channels and an adjustable top vent take the heat off, as does the inner mesh liner. Removable ear pads and a washable cap keep the stink in check. $200

Oakley knows eyewear. The new Mod 5 series puts that legacy to good use. A modular brim system allows you to pick a large or small brim to best create a tight seal between helmet and goggle. Great idea. We like the convenience of the magnetic chin strap and Boa sizing. And we’re all ears for the redesigned “no pressure” ear cup. $210

Developed with input from Pret athletes, the women’s Lyric X features MIPS and Recco safety technologies. A wool-blend cap boosts comfort and durability, and the in-mold construction saves weight and reduces neck fatigue. Dial in the RCS fit system for a customized tight ride. Magnetic snap and audio-ready design rounds it out. $140

We like the imagery of an octopus on your head to convey the self-sizing function of the Octo+ technology. Ten flexible “arms” form-fit to your noggin, keeping the helmet in place as you thrash through the trees. Three shell sizes give you the Goldilocks flexibility to get the fit just right. A slider on the chin strap eliminates fumbling and neck rash. $190

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

119


Buyers Guide 2017 apparel & accessories

Hands Down Get a grip on keeping your digits warm. They’ll thank you. Arc’teryx Venta Skinning up a slope on dawn patrol. Heading out for an après beverage. Heck, you’re on vacation: Heading out for an après beverage after dawn patrol. The Venta is a multipurpose, lightweight beauty designed for high-output sports or just chilling by the fire pit. $69

Astis Pocahontas First pissed off, then inspired, after a dog ate his favorite mitts, which happened to be an original Cree creation, Brad Peterson cofounded Astis to duplicate the Native American ideal of functional fine leatherwork—and to replace his damn mitts. The Pocahontas is insanely warm—and the go-to handwear for our art director, who crushes Vail’s Back Bowls all season. $195

GoGlove A Kickstarter success story, the GoGlove allows you to control your phone (and therefore your music) by simply tapping your fingers together. Sensors in the fingertips, connected to a Bluetooth remote in the glove, do the magic. The glove can stand alone but for winter use is designed as a liner. Your smartphone just got a whole lot smarter. $129

Outdoor Research Oberland Heated Glove The heated-glove category tends to be dominated by overachievers: bulky options seemingly designed for sub-arctic temperatures. We like the Oberland’s large sweet spot (slopes, tailgating, winter chores, kid hockey games, etc.) for anyone who wants on-demand warmth. $250

POC Park Mitt This mitt may be marketed to the terrainpark rider, but its comfy stretch-fabric front teamed up with a durable goatskin palm works anywhere on the mountain. Full-range dexterity makes on-hill adjustments a breeze. And big props up to the designer for including thumb goggle wipes. $120

Seirus Brink As if you needed another reason to love bluebird days. The Solarsphere technology inside the new Brink amplifies the sun’s heat and transfers it into the glove. This sophisticated solution keeps your digits toasty warm with only a super-lightweight, compressible ripstop shell. Gold star for the value price. $50

120

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }


“A tale even more

personal, fascinating and beautiful than any of Warren Miller’s films.” The Skier’s Journal

He’s known as the godfather of action-sports filmmaking. But what happened to him behind the camera is even more remarkable than what you saw on the big screen. “Freedom Found lays bare the soul of one of skiing’s most popular, loved personalities.” Skiing History “This is a must read for anyone who enjoys an inspiring story of failure, passion and redemption.” SKI Magazine

Available direct from Warren at WarrenMiller.net, or from your favorite bookseller. Look for Warren this fall in the 2016 Warren Miller film, "Here, There and Everywhere.” Warren Miller

TheWarrenMiller

WarrenMiller.net


Buyers Guide 2017 apparel & accessories

MEN’S JACKET & PANTS

Under Armour Chugach GTX Jacket and Bib The top-of-the-line Chugach jacket is a three-layer Gore-Tex shell with taped seams and a helmet-compatible hood, plus a cellphone tether to ward against the dropsies and a detachable goggle chamois. The full bib boasts durable scuff guards and gaiter clips to keep snow in its place. Also available in women’s. Jacket $449, bib $399 HELMET

Smith Vantage The Vantage doesn’t want you to get hot under the collar, using a full 21 vents. The ability to adjust front and back cooling independently closed the deal—along with the neat matte finish. $230

Vision Quest See where you’re going. It sure does help.

GOGGLE

Giro Balance Giro goggle goal: the perfect balance of style and performance. The Zeiss lenses land on the performance side of the ledger, with various frame colorways handling the style. $130

Abom Flash Green Mirror With apologies to our PSIA buddies, we can get behind Abom’s motto: If you can’t see, you can’t ski. At the push of a button, an electronically heated film between the two layers of the lens takes care of pesky fog issues. Nifty. $270

Bollé Virtuose

MITTS

Part of Bollé’s new Ultimate collection, the Virtuose boasts the 1-Click System. A single toggle on the left side of the frame releases the lens for quick replacement. Appropriately, the Virtuose comes with two lenses. $170

Armada Helm Lobster Mitt

Smith I/07 High Five Designed to adhere to the principle that less is more, the I/07 series is reduced to the essentials. That said, the medium-fit High Five sports one of Smith’s largest spherical lenses, providing an oversize view without an oversize frame. $200

We’ve opened our minds to the three-finger format. The warmth of a mitt combined with the dexterity to make mid-run gear adjustments wins hands down. $130

122

SKI MAGAZINE

Spy Pow Ace The midsize Ace features Spy’s Quick Draw lens system and comes with a bonus lens. And Spy is donating a portion of its proceeds to Protect Our Winters, hoping to do good while also doing well. $130 { September 2016 }


FIND SWAG + DVD S AT

WA R R E N M I L L E R G E A R .C O M

NEW + THROWBACK TITLES N O W AVA I L A B L E

Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik

SHOP THE WME GEAR STORE


ADVERTISEMENT

Season Pass TRAVEL. GEAR. EVENTS.

Valais - Magic Winter Valais with its iconic resorts Crans-Montana, Verbier, Saas Fee and of course Zermatt, is a winter paradise: majestic Alpine peaks define the panorama and shape a world of unparalleled winter sports experiences with guaranteed snow on over 1500 miles of runs. MySwitzerland.com/winter

Solitude Mountain Resort Explore 1,200 acres of incredible terrain and an average annual snowfall of 500” at Solitude Mountain Resort for FREE! Book three nights of lodging and lift tickets and the fourth day is on us. For full package restrictions and additional offers, visit skisolitude.com/packages. Based on availability; cannot be combined with other offers.

Sun & Ski Sun & Ski has the gear you need to make this season the best ever. We actually use the products we sell and guarantee your fit and satisfaction. Unparalleled expertise, the highest quality products and uncommon passion for the sport. Shop Sun & Ski today. sunandski.com

Deer Valley Resort Experience Deer Valley Resort’s award winning lodging, groomed-to-perfection slopes and gourmet dining during the early winter season and receive 25% savings on lodging and lift tickets at a wide range of accommodations managed by Deer Valley. Package is valid December 2 –10, 2016. For additional offers and package details visit deervalley.com/ Lodging/Package. VISIT US ONLINE AT SKIMAG.COM

+

FOLLOW @SKIMAGONLINE ON TWITTER

+

LIKE SKI MAGAZINE ON FACEBOOK


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

SKI MARKET travel & gear

THE BEST

GROUP SKI TRIPS FOR SINGLES & SOLO TRAVELERS

WINTER GEAR

A BETTER WAY TO GET AWAY

FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!

Ski Packages Include: kHotel (private, or share) kMost Meals (B & D) kLift Tickets kPrivate Tours kTravel Insurance kOn Site Hosts kA Fun Group to Ski & Dine With

JOIN US THIS WINTER ON A NEW TYPE OF SKI ADVENTURE. NEW SLOPES + NEW FRIENDS = THE PERFECT SKI WEEK

Laser Measured

FloorLiner™ Cargo Liner

Miami • Fort Lauderdale West Palm • Delray Beach Orlando • Tampa Atlanta • Richmond

Order by phone 1.800.818.0946 SHOP ANYTIME AT WWW.PETERGLENN.COM

WeatherTech.com · 800-441-6287 For US Customers : WeatherTech.com

For Canadian Customers : For European Customers : WeatherTech.ca WeatherTechEurope.com

©2015 MacNeil IP LLC

TO ADVERTISE CONTACT SCOTT MONTE: smonte@aimmedia.com

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

125


SKI MARKET gear

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

In It For Life. facebook.com/skimag

® ©ShurTech Brands, LLC 2016/66924

Get Ready to transform your skiiing Train dynamic ski skills fast with the new dry-land trainer...

Recommended by:

We're Right There With You.

Visit SkiMag.com

Find out more: skia.com

126

SKI MAGAZINE

{ September 2016 }

TO ADVERTISE CONTACT SCOTT MONTE: smonte@aimmedia.com


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

SKI MARKET gear

THE MOST ADVANCED TRANSPORT SYSTEMS FOR BOOTS, HELMET AND GEAR

TRV PRO: TM

For the World Traveler

HEATED BOOT PRO: TM

Start Your Day with Warm Dry Boots

BOOT TECHNOLOGY

TECHNOLOGICALLY REVOLUTIONARY HARD CASES FOR PROTECTING YOUR SKIS OR SNOWBOARDS

:

TM

on a plane or ship with a common shipping carrier with conямБdence.

TO ADVERTISE CONTACT SCOTT MONTE: smonte@aimmedia.com

{ September 2016 }

SKI MAGAZINE

127


Back in the Day BY JACK FOERSTERLING

“YEAH, YEAH, I SKIED A FEW

times back home in high school. I’ll be fine.” What was to be the birth of my ski career began with a bald-faced lie at the base of Arapahoe Basin. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, I spent my winters making snow forts, playing pond hockey, rooting for the Blackhawks, and thinking that my home “mountain,” with its 230 vertical feet, was the epitome of extreme snow sports. There I stood, clicking my boots into an ex-rental pair of K2 Apaches I had picked up for $150, staring up at the behemoth mountain towering above me. It might as well have been Everest. The truth was, I had never skied before. Sure, I had waterskied every summer growing up on the wooded lakes of Wisconsin and tried nearly every other adventure sport I could scrape together the babysitting money to buy gear for. But this was new. Of course, I wasn’t going to tell that to my ski partners, two girls who had grown up in Colorado and one who’d raced in Montana as a kid. It was looking to be a rugged day. And I was an 18-year-old freshman. My entire college reputation—and perhaps my foreseeable dating future—were at stake (or at least they seemed so at the time). So, with the sometimes regrettable line “I’ll follow you guys,” I dropped into A-Bay’s West Wall and was instantly immersed in the magic of skiing. I spent the rest of that winter hucking myself and those poor little Apaches down anything and everything I could find within driving distance of the University of Denver. Whether I was convincing myself that I could totally ski

128

SKI MAGAZINE

park or that a 72-mm waist was plenty wide for powder, every second I was on the mountain I was lost in the ignorant bliss of being strapped into a pair of skis. In those moments, nothing else mattered, not my iPhone buzzing in my pocket, and certainly not the 15-page paper waiting for me back on campus. I only had to think about one thing: skiing. That’s still true for me today. I graduated last spring, and I feel I haven’t changed all that much (well, maybe a little) from that freshman rookie eyeing survival lines at A-Basin. But I feel skiing has. And that’s only in the four years I’ve been keeping score. The culprit? The usual suspects—the digital life and its most fiendish incarnation: the cell phone. My friends—girls and guys—are within arm’s reach of theirs pretty much 24/7. Most sleep with them. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a group of us 20-somethings who don’t pull them out

{ September 2016 }

way too often—chilling at bars and restaurants, hiking and biking, driving (ugh) and, yes, even skiing. Unfortunately, the ski world isn’t immune to this epidemic. From Epic Mix offering a social platform to brag about how much vert I scored or apps telling me how fast I went on every run of the day on every day of the season, the digital world is encroaching upon my safe zone, which is skiing. Even at the ripe age of 21, I look back at how amazing it was to be a kid. No smartphone in my pocket. No e-mails to check. The Internet was just something that made a funny noise when you logged into AOL. It took five minutes to load a webpage. Maybe it’s weird for me to say this, but skiing gives me what I have found to be the closest thing to pure childhood bliss, a return to the good ol’ days. For even just a few hours, I’m able to completely disconnect and enjoy what’s right in front of me—without a screen in between. Whether it’s popping the tab for a quick can of beer on the chairlift with a stranger or hootin’ and hollerin’ with my friends as we rip down a run, skiing brings me together in an oldschool way with reality, just like when I was a kid. In person, face to face. Because at the end of the day, as your skis hang over the edge of a new line and all your buddies are yelling your name to drop in, the one thing that should not be going through your head is the ping of a new text message on the phone in your pocket. O A recent college graduate, Jack Foersterling is living in New Zealand, skiing as much as possible and calling home every so often.

SKI Magazine (ISSN 0037-6159, USPS 577-270) is published six times a year (January, February, September, October, November, December) by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., an Active Interest Media company. The known office of publication is 5720 Flatiron Parkway, Boulder, CO 80301. Copyright 2016 by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission of Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. Mailing List: We make a portion of our mailing list available to reputable firms. If you would prefer that we don’t include your name, please write us at the Palm Coast, FL, address. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to SKI Magazine, PO Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235. Periodicals postage paid at Boulder, CO, and at additional mailing offices. Subscription rates: $9.95 for 1 year. Please add $10.00 per year for Canadian addresses and $30.00 per year for all other international addresses. Canada Post Publications agreement number #40612608. Canada Post Returns: Pitney Bowes, PO Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2 Canada. Printed in the USA.

on skiing

ILLUSTRATION BY MATT WOOD


TIME VALUE OF LIFE. Reflect, renew and reconnect. Focus on what really matters with a Resorts West ski vacation, where exceptional two- to eight-bedroom accommodations are paired with carefully crafted service experiences. Ensure every aspect of your stay is seamless through personalized itinerary creation, customized in-home check-in and 24-hour vacation assistance. Resorts West offers incredible slope-side lodges and unrivaled ski-in ski-out private residences located at both Deer Valley and Park City — the largest ski resort in the U.S.A.! ®

Resorts West — Refining Mountain Time Since 1999

stay@resortswest.com 877-214-0104 | resortswest.com SERVING DEER VALLEY , PARK CIT Y AND SUNDANCE, UTAH ®


CELEBRATE RESPONSIBLY.

Chad Fleischer, Steamboat Olympian

A DAY OF SKIING CHAMPAGNE POWDER DESERVES AN EVENING OF SIPPING BUBBLES. ®

OFFICIAL CHAMPAGNE POWDER® PARTNER

korbel.com | responsibility.org

OFFICIAL CHAMPAGNE POWDER® PARTNER

©2015 F. Korbel & Bros., Guerneville, Sonoma County, CA. Producers of fine California méthode champenoise champagnes for 133 years. KORBEL is a registered trademark. Steamboat and Champagne Powder are registered trademarks of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. All rights reserved.

Ski usa september 2016  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you